Race type: Road race
Location: Bashall Eaves
Date: 20 May, 2018
From Dan Stevens.
Another weekend. Another drive up to bashall eaves. There was a wierd sense of deja vu this morning. It was sunny again (are we actually in the UK?) and driving to the exact same HQ. Hopefully the day wouldn't have the same outcome as last week.
Legs feel a bit better than last week. Less tired but still feeling like they were missing that 10 second punch to make a break or chase one for that matter. Despite the National TLI champs taking place on the same day there was a strong field of riders and we rolled out of HQ at 9.30 sharp. It was already impressively warm with everyone having 2 bottles on the bike and wearing as little as possible.
For those not familiar with the course it's an 11 mile loop with one long climb of a couple of miles and then rolling elsewhere. Its a course that just slowly bites away at the peloton until only a few remain.
The first time to the climb only 2 miles in to the race the pace is fierce led by 3 guys from the same team obviously with a plan to make it hard from the gun. We set a time only 8 seconds behind a certain Gullen guy who holds the KOM and isn't a half bad cyclist. I turn around and look over my shoulder and I'm last man of the bunch. I look forward and there's only about 25 guys ahead. Where did the other 30 go? Simple answer. It was race over for a lot of them.
The hardest part of the lap out the way we roll around without too much trouble to stay in the reduced bunch. We pass through the start finish line the first time and on a straight road some idiots decide to have a lie down infront of me. Not this again. I've had enough of dodging crashes. Luckily I get around it and then have a bit of work to do to get back in to the bunch.
Little happens between this and a couple of laps to go with the pace much more comfortable. A break goes off the back of a prime sprint but eventually comes back. Coming to the sprint and a few riders go long and get a jump on the rest of us. This is where that earlier mentioned kick before that I've been lacking would have come in handy. I get over the line in 10th and Declan is back in 19th. The front bunch was only 20 riders by the end down from over 50 at the start. Given it's a tough course for the climbers me and Declan did the club proud both being well over 80kg riders.
Next up the Dave Hitchen 2 day. Should be fun!
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