Race type: Road race
Location: Bashall Eaves
Date: 13 May, 2018
The first race after our Italy trip for myself and Declan Hudson up at Bashall Eaves by Clitheroe.
A beautiful sunny day which always seems to happen when I race here with last year's race on the long course being an absolute scorcher. Today though being on the short course had other challenges. A short 4 mile lap with 3 slow corners and a couple of very short but punchy climbs. After plodding around Italy this could be a shock to the system.
We filled out of HQ and onto the course the attacks began out of every corner and up every little climb. The pace was fierce with the bunch often totally strung out in a line. Declan obviously tried his attack from the gun tactic but with little effect today.
It was only a few laps into the 14 total and disaster. A rider getting some food from his pocket overlaps wheels and like skittles a number of riders have a nice lie down in the road just to my left. I was lucky to escape but Declan was caught up in this, luckily didn't come down but lost the bunch.
The pace still electric all race I'm really starting to feel the burn on these sprints out of the corners. It's 3 laps to go and we lap Declan. Luckily the bunch slows and we have time for a very pro bottle exchange where Declan passes me one of his for my empty one. I neck my last gel and try and relax for the last lap CHAOS!
As expected the last lap is just mayhem. People diving into corners and cutting people up. We're about a mile to go and the pace is high. The road is narrow and were fully spread out across the road. I was maybe 30th in the bunch so where I wanted to be before the sprint. All of a sudden you hear a shout of 'CAR' from the front of the bunch and every jams on the brakes. A guy from secret training bins it right infront of me. Somehow riders infront, behind, left and right of me went down but I was still upright in the middle. I'd cheated death twice in one day. I need to get my lottery ticket purchased. As soon as I pick a line through the mangled bikes and bodies the bunch is 50-100m ahead. There was no way I was now getting back in and into a position to sprint so rolled over the line a minute or so back chatting with another guy who was also lucky enough to avoid the crash. I was exhausted anyway so wasn't hopeful for a great result, I counted a total of 46 power spikes or effective sprints in the race. I had an avg heart rate of 171 for just over 2 hours. Quite unbelievable.
All in all an awful day out for the Century Team. Next weekend we have the long course at Bashall Eaves. More hilly and less sharp corners and sprints which should suit us a lot more. Bring it on!
Photos from Ellen
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