Conrad Moss traveled to Wales last weekend for the CC Blaenau Gwent 25. Conrad’s thoughts on the day below
I had entered this event, originally scheduled for the R25/7 course at USK. It was course that saw me break the club record for the first time last year with a short 49 – a good honest course, rolling, low traffic count and a decent surface. I’d been runner up, and 3rd in previous outings on the course, and wondered if this may be my year.
Start sheet arrived and the course has been changed to the R25/7a – a little used course, and bearing no resemblance to the original one apart from the fact that it is in Wales.
It was a decent enough morning, breezy but not too bad, damp, but not too bad, and warm – but not too warm at around 15 degrees (practically baking compared to previous races).
I arrived early with Ian Deakin in order to recce the course in the car. The first 5 miles were ‘farm roads’ twisty, lumpy, rough surface, and covered in mud and cow dung, before turning onto a long 13 mile stretch of DC to the turn. These roads were to end Ians ride with a puncture early on.
To the eye the course appeared nice and flat, although the sat nav was showing a 400 ft elevation change at various sections of the course.
Course recce’d, warm up done and I was off, pushing hard over the first 5 miles, so as not to lose time over the slowest part of the course. It was a rhythm sapper, but when I joined the DC I settled into a good rhythm. The top part of the course was fairly quick, but the bottom end was false flat – to the naked eye it looked slightly downhill in the distance, but I just saw my power and speed gradually dropping off as I approached the turn. I rejoined the DC with the 8m stretch to go, but just didn’t have too much in the legs if I’m honest. It was quicker than I had anticipated, but the last 4 miles were tough and I simply didn’t have enough gas. I crossed the line in 51.58 to take 3rd place. Ioan Smallwood – a local rider pipped me by 10 seconds, which in all fairness means that performance wise mine wasn’t a disaster, as 10 seconds either way would be a fairly typical gap between us. The ride of the day was undoubtedly by Jon Wynn. A class act no doubt, Jon returned with 50.58 to give me a proper hiding, and leave me realising that I’m still a fair way from good form.