5 Laps L’Eree : Start wave Senior1 / Senior2 / Vet1
First road race of the year is usually a slightly nervous thing – the anticipation of the step into the unknown, just how good will the the legs be, have I slowed down, will I get dropped early on, a list that could go on and on. It’s a mix of self inflicted jeopardy that you have to be an athlete to understand as to just why you want to pin a number to your jersey. And with added tension of being started off with Commonwealth Games riders, Island Games selections and in teenager Sam Culverwell perhaps one of the UK’s brightest cycling prospects, you know how the plot of the script will play out, but you don’t know all your lines or quite which role you have been given.
And so it began, The top riders split the bunch off the top of the climb up Plienmont only to get disrupted by what race radio would call “chute sans grave” i.e. a crash on the the Torteval Engineering corner, so we all regrouped until the next climb when they rode away again. This time it ended with three main groups on the road. (1) the race for the win, (2) the in betweeners and (3) most of the rest of us. After a bit of vocalisation we got a chase on and caught the in betweeners and then largely stayed together till a super fast lead out to the inevitable final sprint when the fast boys duly came past in the final dash to the line.
Kicking myself in retrospect for talking myself out of having a dig on the final Pleinmont climb, after waiting to react to a move that never came. I should have listened Ove! Sometimes the coach needs a coach.
It was also a day for learning, squad athletes and training partners all playing a role in the race. On the ladies side the Tri girls mixing it with the Velo club girls to have a proper race in their own right. Amy, Emily and Megan started the 4 lap option and Amy & Emily stayed in the lead group to be present at the sprint for the line won by the upcoming youngster Hannah Brehaut. Megan’s still working her way back to full fitness and finished in the next group back on the road. Magda opted for the novice race having completed a 75k training ride the day before and won a 2 up sprint with fellow triathlete Clare Allen.
Alongside in the men’s Ove put his learning from his first race into full effect and rode a very measured race and got involved in the charge for the line to such good effect I only just got past him. Meanwhile Scholesie toughed out 3 laps alone after losing contact on the 2nd climb.
Coffee and cake to chat the race over with the squad and then another 70mins on the bike to put some more endurance in the tank. Hanging onto JC’s wheel has he beasted into the headwind up the coast was just about as hard as the racing that preceded it.
Men (5 laps):
10th Alan Rowe 1hr 38:56 @ 7min31 1st Grand Vet, 6th in second bunch) @ 23.7mph
12th Ove Svejstrup 1:38:57
19th Ian Scholes 1:48:35
Ladies / Men VetB (4 laps):
7th Amy Critchlow 1:26:16
8th Emily Squire 1:26:20
14th Megan Chapple 1:33:56
Novice Ladies 2 laps
1st Magda Murphy 51:45
Feature pic by Dave Crosland