After last week’s successes at the Primavera RR, I knew a decent result might be on the cards for the Severn Bridge RR however the standard would be another notch higher. I travelled down from London the night before and stayed with my cousins in Bristol (thank you!) which meant I wasn’t time pressured the morning of the race. The weather forecast looked grim with certain rain and strong winds. With sections of the course being very exposed down near the docks, this suited me. After the start I got to the front asap. It was pretty sketchy on the first lap with riders trying to move up and a few moves flying off the front. Coming into the hill for the first time I knew a move was going to go so I got right to the front and rode it hard managing to stay in the top ten over the top which I was surprised with. The break then went with the two Tifosi riders and three Flix riders. I caught a wheel and got into the break. With another eight laps I really wasn’t optimistic especially as Catford had no one in the break and had decent numbers back in the bunch.
Nevertheless, we all rode hard and the break of seven (Clemans, Passfield, Smith, Frost, Scott-Collins, Frost and me) was working well in the blustery crosswinds and headwinds on the bottom half of the circuit. We rode the climb hard but steadily each lap which suited me and within a few laps we had a minute and a half on the bunch which gave us hope. We held the gap and by the penultimate lap there were only four of us left (Clemans, Passfield, Smith and me). Since the two Tifosi guys were consistently distancing me on the climb, I knew I was going to have to shell some of the group prior to the steep finish. Luckily Clemans did this for me coming over a rise on the crosswind section. I saw him go and jumped immediately as I knew the other two were struggling and Passfield wouldn’t ride if Clemans was up the road. I got across alright and had to ride on the front. Clemans came through and gave me some turns but I already knew what was going to happen on the climb. We hit the bottom and Clemans went again and my legs had nothing left. I stuck it in the 39 and crawled to the finish for 2nd.
There’s no way I could’ve done anymore so I’m pretty happy with that result; I was shattered at the end. The rest of the bunch came in in dribs and drabs after blowing apart in the crosswinds and on the climb. Passfield took the final spot on the podium.
After a lack of organisation on my part, I missed all the road race entries for next weekend so it’s back to a 10 mile TT for me in Farnham.
1 Edward Clemens Spirit Racing Team
2 Matt Langworthy Mid Devon CC
3 Charlie Passfield Spirit Racing Team
4 George Smith VC Equipe – Flix
5 Robert Partridge BIKE Channel Canyon
6 Etienne Georgi Team Wiggins
7 Douglas Coleman Spirit Racing Team
8 Dylan Thomas VC Meudon
9 Ashley Dennis Team Wiggins
10 Ken Buckley Spokes BPC Racing