So today we raced the national road race at Mallory park, Leicester. (Just around the corner from home….) Our riders representing us where as follows:
Chris Taylor, Mike Humphreys, Joseph Cadwallader, Nick Hall, Martin Usher, Ryan Whatmough, Declan Brady, Ryan Harrison and Josh Alderton.
We had all spoken during the week and everyone was getting there with a good hr to spare. So up I was 08:00 kettle on, porridge made, Mrs made bottles (yes well trained), Mr Humphreys arrived 09:45 and off we went. 30 mins away from the course I get a puncture on the A50. Lord why now. Anyway the AA arrived swiftly and took me to a service station where we could change my tyre. 1hr later and we were up and running with 20 mins left of the journey and 35 mins until the race started, my goodness we were on the mins. No warm up just straight on the course. Gutted!
The course was brilliant the start/finish line was on a slight up hill, after that there was a 3/400m 4% incline, swing left and down a fast decent, onto the first of two chicane’s along a fast straight, onto the 2nd chicane, swing a long left and back onto the home straight. The straight/uphill section was filled with a lovely strong head wind. Just what we wanted..
So off we went. Me being as cold as ice I stayed securely tucked away to try and warm up without blowing up. Managed it in a few laps and came back up to the top ten which is where I stayed for majority of the race.
There was a few attacks which were quickly brought back, but then from nowhere Nottingham clarion got together on the front and took off up the hill. Nobody saw this until it was too late, Nick decided to chase, he went hard and fast, time trial mode was on, he almost made it and by almost I mean 10m away, but 4 against one was a bit much for him to hold on (also him being a bit older now probably didn’t help either). The peloton all looked at each other and didn’t change together. A few attempted solo’s to bridge the gap but by now it was a min. And there was no chance it was being caught. We wrote off those 4 and concentrated on winning the bunch and getting best placed for the team. We then rode as we should do, we let nothing go without one of us in it. When one of us was away in a group we tried to slow the peloton down. Nothing stuck until nick and mike went. This looked good, very good. Me, Ryan and Joseph sat back and marshalled the race from 3rd,4th,5th of the chasing group. The two in 1st 2nd tore themselves apart to catch nick and mike, they got help by someone coming around us to the front and just caught them. Me and joe looked at each other and said they are all tired, lets go. So we went, unfortunately it didn’t last that long, mike decided to join us… with everyone else on his wheel. He didn’t realise they were there, I looked back and said drop back, only then he realised and backed off but we were caught. He apologised after and I forgave him. (We have a special bond me and Mike 😉
We carried on marshalling any jumpers until 2 laps to go where mike found something within and went, up the hill, but was matched by two others. We slowed and again marshalled near the front. A serge came which I thought was going to catch the three but it quickly gave up.
1 lap to go and Mike showed the other two how to ride a bike, said good bye, blew them a kiss and shot off, stayed away to take home 5th. Well done mate. As he was doing his thing we as a team came together, joe led (before the race joe has offered to lead me out, so I told him to go as hard as he could around the last bend) followed by Nick, Ryan, Martin then me, we ramped up the pace and nobody even attempted to come past us, why, because they couldn’t, team sky would of been able to get past this train. Last corner and joe went… He really went, Nick just lost his wheel but was still flying, Ryan past Nick, riders started to come up on the right of us, crap I’m stuck, Martin found a gap between Ryan and another, I followed, Martin moved left and the after burners were on, the little monster from bury won the bunch sprint helped immensely by the team. Job well done by all and what a day.
Report By Chris Taylor Bury Clarion