The weather forecast for the race wasn’t very good, and so it turned out to be.. on the drive to the race I passed though a couple of showers. On arrival at the race HQ I had barely parked the car and opened to tailgate to unload my bike before it started raining again.
By the time the race was ready to start it was raining pretty heavily and looked set for race. However, everybody set off behind the motorbike for the neutralised section of the race to where we joined the circuit. This was a ride of about 3 miles, fast enough to get wet through and not fast enough to keep warm. Also getting a liberal spray of water and road dirt from the riders in front.
On reaching the circuit proper at Lower Broadheath we turned right and the motor bike moved off and we were under way on our five, seven and half mile laps. The pace was quite steady at first and I was riding comfortably in the bunch. As always a couple of guys decided to make a break for it so it was heads down and pedalling like fury to catch them up, which we did. Just as we regrouped a near disaster situation occurred. A car tried to pass the whole bunch as were going down a slight incline, we were going 30mph plus at the time. When the car got about halfway past us all a car came in the opposite direction so he just pulled over right into the side of the group, about 2 riders in front of me.. we all slammed on brakes but due the the wet they were not so effective as they might have been and avoiding action needed to be taken bringing bike handling skills to the fore. We all survived but this effectively split the bunch into two. The half dozen or so that had avoided all this broke away, leaving the rest of us to try to chase them down which eventually we did. There was then a series of break away attempts and the ensuing chase. This eventually wore me down and I could see I wasnt going to keep this pace up, which was being set by guys around 50 – 55 years old, 10 – 15 years younger than me so I dropped back and settled into time trial mode again. I knew I was ahead of a group that we had dropped before the car incident and I assumed eventually they would catch me up and I would tag onto them but it didn’t happen. I rode the rest of the laps on my own to the finish, just passing two riders that had also dropped off the pace from the leading group.
I have no idea exactly where I finished position wise as the race finish was at the top of a little rise about one mile before Bell Lane. It was a two mile ride back to Lower Broadheath from there plus the three miles we had ridden out to the circuit. I was soaking wet, although it did stop raining on the last lap of five. I didn’t want to hang around there and get cold thinking I would get the results when they all got back to the HQ. That two miles plus the three or so from where we joined the circuit meant a five mile ride back to the HQ. I grabbed my bag from the car and got into the hall and changed into some dry clothes and got a bite to eat, still the officials were not back from the finish line so I headed home in my nice warm and dry car.. I decided I would wait for the results to be posted online. Up until now Though, no results are to be seen, just a race report, results to follow it says. Wouldnt you just know it too, on my way home the sun was shining !!