Wednesday: Mid Week Race.
I decided to race this event as it gave enough time to recover for the weekends national series race. It is on a great course North of Manchester again in one of the many town parks in the area.
This one has good singletrack , a river crossing and some short steep climbs to test the legs.
Tonight saw Giles Drake a solid Elite racer and Dan Evans the newly crowned Elite Welsh champion, along with the other usual fast lads.
My start was ok and we raced straight up the first hill into the start arena, I was in second place behind Dan and then Giles over took me shortly after. I suffered a little due to a lack of warm up but soon settled into a Rhythm and began chasing them down.
I was getting closer but then we started to lap people and I was getting held up slightly, this is all part of racing so you can’t get annoyed by it.
Finished a good third place and I was happy with my form against these guys so close to the nationals. Time to recover for Sunday.
Sunday: National Series Round 4 Sherwood Pines
This is a race I wanted to win and felt I had a good chance as I like the fast nature of the course, I also knew because I had missed the start of the season I had to start at the back. Overtaking on the fast start is very difficult.
As predicted I struggled to pass people at the start and in the singletrack, I tried not to push too hard and make mistakes but overtook when I could. It’s really frustrating to see the leaders ride away when you have the legs to follow.
I finished lap 1 in 14th place from grid position 40, I got to 8th on Lap 2 and then for the remaining 4 laps I was in 4th hunting down the top three who were riding in a group, I calculated that I could catch them on the last lap for a sprint finish.
Again I got held up by a few back markers and but I presume the other lads did too, so it didn’t bother me too much but again is mildly frustrating.
With 1 lap to go I had the gap down to 10seconds and was closing fast, at 1km to go it was closer to 5 seconds I had a small section of singletrack to go then just lay the power down for the sprint. Giles who I was racing earlier in the week shouted encouragement at me and I lost concentration for a spilt second and just clipped a small tree which sent me off course. At this point the podium was over so I just rode the rest a pace and finished comfortably into 4th place.
So close to that elusive win and I know if I had started at the front I could have won this, I am really happy with my fitness and having to chase hard for 4 laps with full power I am very confident going into the National Championships next weekend.
Although another gridding at the back, with a big hill to start it should be easier to get to the front. Finger crossed and I really want to win the Jersey for the team.