A diary of my experiences


April 2016

Thruxston Summer Series Prolog

It was a bitterly cold evening of racing thanks to the 30mph winds at the Thruxston motor circuit. I was in the 3rd cat only race. After a poor attempt to warm up in my hoody, it was time to take to the start line.

I was in the second row and was eager to sprint away from the gun but instead I had a rather embarrassing clip in attempt which instead almost left me falling out the back. Not the best start. After composing myself I started to move up and attacked off the front to test the field. I had a small gap for around half a lap. At least now I was finally warm! On the second lap another small attack went up the road a bit, it was a group of six, quite a dangerous number, so I took the front to shut it down before it could become anything. Soon after closing the gap Ride 24/7 junior Josh Price made a small attack. No one seamed to want to put the effort in to close it down, I didn’t want to be the rider to respond to every move. I made the decision to sprint across to him, making sure I didn’t take anyone else with me.

It took a hard 2-3 minute effort to catch him, IMG_1951.JPG
thankfully when I got over to Josh he was able to put in a strong turn on the front which allowed me to get my breath back. The gap was solid and we both knew this brake should stick if we worked well together. 7 laps remained of the 2.3 mile track. On the down hill
section where we were reaching speeds of 35+ mph Josh was struggling with the pace, so we worked out that the most efficient way to work together was for me to take the fast tailwind down hill and for Josh to take to the front on the uphill section and we would share the horrendous block headwind part.

This worked well and we kept a substantial gap. When it came to the last lap it was time to stop working together and let the ride 24/7, performance cycles rivalry show. I could see Josh was a going to be strong in a sprint and knew he would probably beat me, so when we came to the fast section of the corse for the last time I used my 53/11 to my advantage and went full gas and managed to ride away from him. I came onto the finish straight and enjoyed my first win of the year.

The stamped13091744_1095022527187301_275561447_oing bunch sprint followed around 30 seconds later where team-mate Will Crofts managed to elbow his way to 6th place. 


Rob Willmott Road Race 2016

Round one of the Cotswold league. My first road race of the year. It was a cold but sunny start, with very little wind, overall good racing conditions.

The start of the race was neutralised to get image1
down the hill to the A417, to be fair this was probably the sketchiest part of the race, with sharp braking and nervous riders. I started near the back of the bunch and had to spend the first few miles getting closer to the front as I wanted to try and follow some of the early attacks. The first few attacks were small and negative and didn’t stick. I had a gap with a couple of riders for around 5 minutes that was never going to work as no one believed in it. As soon as we were caught there was quite a large move including Tony Kiss which would become the successful brake.

As most teams had at least one rider in the lead group the pace in the peloton settled to a steady pace. I just sat in at this point as there was no point in me trying to close the gap with Tony up the road. The next few laps just ticked by with very little happening.

On lap five of six James Stewart signalled to me to take his wheel and to turn it up. So between us we motor paced to bring the brake away back close enough to bridge the gap. It was just like the Tuesday night chaingang; pulling strong turns stretching the majority of the peloton into single file. I took the front again for the lead up to the short climb, I flicked my elbow to signal someone else to come through as I didn’t want to be on the front on this part of image2the corse. No one was willing to take a turn. So I held the pace into the foot of the climb, this is  where James was able to make his attack along with Gareth to time trail each other up to join the brake away.

The move gave us four riders in the lead group, which could have made for a very strong finish.

We finished with Matt Woods in 2nd and James Stewart in 6th. So a good result for Performance Cycles in the first round of the Cotswold League.


2016 Season Opener.

Castle Combe Easter Classic – 25.3.16 –
Castle Combe Easter Classic – 25.3.16 –

Back where I started, Castle Coombe Easter Classic.

There was a little disappointment at the beginning of the day, knowing that this could well be last time I get to race a Coombe. British Cycling put a rider limit on the circuit of just 100 riders. It’s a shame as the organisers put on a very good weekly summer series that was brilliant for testing your legs mid-week.
I wasn’t expecting much from the race today as I’ve learnt flat courses don’t suit me particularly well. I was going into the race to purely test my legs out before the real season starts. I started the race by trying to get into an early break. Coombe can be quite negative when it comes to brake aways, no one believes it can stick, so no one gives it there all. The 6 strong brake was quickly swallowed by the peloton.
After rolling round for a 40 minutes the bell went for the final lap. I was well positioned at the start of the lap as the two-man Ride 24/7 lead out started to move up. I thought this would be a good wheel to be on. We came out the final corner, the lead out wasn’t strong enough and we started getting swarmed on the right hand side of the track. I’m not much of a sprinter so kept out of the way off the mess.
Wasn’t a bad way to start the year. Got some speed in the legs and more importantly I managed to keep the wheels on the ground, more than a few unlucky individuals can say!

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