I like the Curborough circuit, it’s reasonably technical but not too slow. The circuit is a car test track, so there is quite a lot of rubber down on the tarmac. Add a bit of rain to that rubber and you get a crash fest (as I have experienced a couple of years ago). But not today! It was another sunny day! But windy… making it cold on the line. However, arm warmers were definitely a bad decision as I spent the whole race sweating it out in a breakaway… glancing down at them every now and then wondering when would be a good time to start undressing… there wasn’t one.
I didn’t turn my Garmin on until I was already in the break away but the stats after the first 15 mins are:
- Average speed: 42 kmph
- Max speed: 56 kmph
- Average HR: 176 bpm
- Preliminary results (here)
I am not posting up my HR or speed data since it doesn’t really show much of the story. However, the race played out as follows…
Forming the break
One rider attacked very early on in the race (Jack Sadler from Vanilla Bikes), this was swiftly followed by another attacker who joined the first (Gareth Jones from Wolverhampton Wheelers). They quickly established a large gap. This concerned me, because, although it was very windy there was a chance they could stay away if the bunch didn’t get organised. One lap later I launched my attack on the small rise assisted by a strong tailwind, taking one other rider with me (Lichfield CCC rider Elliot Pike). We worked well to bridge the gap to the two leaders over the next couple of laps.
Our gap as a four remained stable for a while, but not substantial. I think there were some dedicated chasers in the bunch driving the pace. However, later the bunch began to break up and I assume the chasers switched to attacking the bunch rather than dragging it along. Our gap grew as a result, and stayed pinned at around 30 seconds for a while. Then within the space of a few laps we switched to chasing rather than being chased…. and we soon lapped the main field. We passed the main bunch to the disappointment of a couple of frustrated riders. By the end of the race we had taken almost another half a lap…
Coming in the final lap Gareth attacked with the tailwind, causing the four of us to break up. I managed to chase back onto his wheel with the other two riders close behind. I attempted a counter attack but didn’t have enough to create a gap into the ferocious head wind. I stayed on the front to ensure I was first into the final corner, riding slow. Riding to the line I lost first place and then closely battled it out for second with Gareth… losing by a few cms. I really really need to build my sprint! Really now.
All in all another good race with a good result. I have been unable to perform hard training sessions over the last couple of weeks because I feel over trained. I am resting this week as I feel like I’m drifting further into fatigue and this is hampering both my training and racing. I hope to get refreshed by next weekend and start pushing my strength and fitness again.