The weeks prep coming into a race is important to how you perform. Seems obvious right!? I forgot this running into the weekends race.
Over the back-end of the season I had let my diet slip further than normal, even allowing a few beers to creep in. Carrying an extra 2-3kg over my normal race weight I was paranoid, as I thought it would be hilly. I know 2kg doesnt sound like a lot, probably more mental than anything. This made me think it would be a good idea to get myself back down to race weight. I thought 2kg in a week, easy! What I didn’t think about, is how cutting back on the week running up to a race would leave me feeling, fatigued and weak. So the 2kg lost probably also meant a significant drop in power too.
The race was in the Mendips close to cheddar gauge, hardly the Cotswolds but still a nice place to ride. There was a strong wind blowing across the course that would be factor. I started the race feeling good, as soon as the race started Matt Woods, Sam Adey and I were on the front stretching the bunch out through the cross wind section. We continued to work together over the finish line and up the climb for the first time. Annoyingly it was all kind of pointless, when we reached the top of the climb we were stopped by the commissaries due to more white line violations! Now the bunch was back together we had to do it all again! We kept any early attacks at bay until the third time we crested the climb, Matt was able to sling shot himself off the front as I pulled off, no one followed.
At this point I thought Matt had made a mistake. I Policed the pace at the front of the bunch, attempting to disrupt any chase for around 20 minutes. After that the organisation of the bunch was all over the place and I didn’t have to do anything. Matt only had a slender 30-40 second advantage. Yet nobody wanted to take it upon themselves to bring him back.
It was at around 50 miles in, with 2 laps to go I was confident that Matt should be able to hold onto his lead. Thankfully, as this is when my weeks prep really crashed down on me. No amount of energy gels could bring me back into life. I just sat on the bunch and let it tow me home!
Matt knew he had to do something in this round and he did just that, coming across the line on his own after 40+ miles solo, picking up all the sprint points along the way! With this win, he took the Cotswold’s league leaders jersey just when it mattered most. Matt and Performance Cycles had won the season long overall win, by a solitary point!