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
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 the 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.