This weekend was jam packed with racing for Flamme Rouge.
On Saturday we had The Roy Thame RR, the first Central Road Race League event of 2017. Alex, Matt, Ollie and Myself headed to Buckingham unsure of exactly what to expect with it being the first major Road Race of the season, still we were confident that a result could be had.
The race started as it meant to go on... fast and bumpy, very bumpy. This race is renowned for the bad road surface and being a puncture fest and it wasn't more that an hour in until I found myself less than 6" behind the neutral service car chasing to get back on. Ollie and Matt were still well placed in the bunch and following the dangerous looking moves as I got back on.
All was going well, our new dinner ladies in the feed station, Annie and Lucy, were serving our bottles like seasoned professionals and the race was hotting up. Arm warmers off and then bang, mechanical number 2. Back to drafting the neutral service car with 1 1/2 laps to go and get back on just before the draggy section, attacks
start flying and I'm done. Two lots of chasing has taken it out of me and I call it a day frustrated but pleased with the effort I'd put in.
Matt and Ollie still in a good position for the bunch kick for 11th behind the break. With the somewhat sketchy finish and the first race in a long season the boys played it safe and rolled in 26th and 44th respectively.
Photo Credit: David Chia
Sunday brought a somewhat different atmosphere. Jack and I cruised down to Colchester in the pimped out Team Car for Jock Wadley. Usually this is a good test of the legs against similar opposition, this year it seemed to be a Pro Cyclists playground with the likes of One Pro cycling, JLT Condor and Team Wiggins all entering.
Luckily the wind was low on an echelon friendly course, but this didn't mean it was easy, with the 83 miles covered in under 3hrs there was no letting up. Jack raced his first major race like he'd done it for years where I was having a little bit of a tough time after Saturday. Still with 75 miles gone we were both still in the mix, unfortunately Jack got caught out by a slight break in the group at just the wrong time and go distanced.
Having had a rocky start, and numerous gels later, my legs were starting to feel good for the final kick. Ready to take on the likes of Ed Clancy, Graham Briggs and Steele Van Hoff in a sprint. However with 500m to go a big crash to the side of me hampered my plans, causing a slight delay, and suddenly a big gap opens up. Next time Steele... next time.
Photo Credit: David Chia