Won a race once. AND DON'T YOU EVER FORGET IT

  • Three Course Meals

    I thought I’d got away with it a bit at Macclesfield last week. Despite being in the middle of the Xmas / New Year period and all it’s calorific trappings, I didn’t feel too sluggish. same notch on the belt buckle and a decent spring in my step. All the extras caught up with me today though.
    The Waddow Hall course was delightfully not flat. 1600ft of climbing in just over 8 miles allows for nothing but either going up or thundering back down again. Ace. And, usually, my forte. I like a good climb, me. Lungs popping, jaw slung low as you fight gravity and traction while bouncing off your own internal rev limiter. Torque over horsepower. you get the picture. Problem was today I would be tackling the course and racing everyone with quite a few mince pies tucked safely away round my midriff. 2nd helpings and days spent eating rather than training are not conducive to skipping up hills.
    Never mind. I decided to class today’s race as an abrupt end to the gluttony and set about pushing myself on a route that appeared to be an awful lot of fun.
    I got a half decent start, right up to the point where half a bird’s nest leapt up into my rear mech. Although it didn’t jam the gears up I knew I’d have to dive into the pits on the first, frenetic lap rather than concentrate on staying up with Isaac as he opened up a bit of a lead on everyone else. Drat and bother. Down to fifth and some gaps to close then.
    Where I’d normally make up a decent chunk of time, on the long dragging grass climb that broke a lot of hearts (and lungs) during the day, I had to suffer like a dog to make up any time at all. Not that anyone found it easy, of course! So I put as much effort onto letting the bike fly on the descents to close the gaps in front. It may have looked a bit “all over the place” but I had great fun doing my best “foot out / flat out” impression.

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    I managed to work my way back up into 3rd, behind Martin, with 4 laps to go and what followed was some of the closest racing I’ve done in a long time. Over the new few laps we swapped places countless times – neither ever far back from the other and neither at all aware we were closing the gap to Matt in the lead, so engrossed were we in our own private battle.
    The final result came down to one moment, on the one flat section of the course – an innocuous looking, slow speed hairpin bend just past the pits. Whoever was in front out of this corner held all the cards really; the following descent was too narrow to risk an overtake, and after one last corner the final drop down to the line was simply too fast to get alongside and past. Despite being a good minute or two from the line, those in the pits would be able to see the end of the race, barring disaster.
    Into the hairpin I was just in front. I picked a tight line, working on the assumption that a slip would push me wide ‘closing the door’ on any attempt by Martin to ride round the outside of me. My front tyre washed out, as I thought it might, but somehow my foot popped out of the pedal as I fought the bike back into shape. A moment of not being able to put the power down was all Martin needed to lunge past as I flailed, clipping back in as quickly as possible and jumping on to his back wheel as quickly as I could. Daaaaaamn!

    3rd place it was. You can never be too grumpy about a result when you’ve been part of some really good racing, so I’m not grumpy at all. Hopefully the next two rounds will be just as entertaining! 🙂

     

    10:44 pm on January 6, 2019 | Comments Off on Three Course Meals | # |