I’d been looking forward to the Minehead Grand Prix for ages. It was a town centre crit and one of the biggest races in the region. I knew it was going to be difficult as lots of the local riders wanted to win here. It was great that it was a really sunny day.
Over 20 riders lined up on the start. But my race was almost over before it started when the rider next to me struggled to clip-in and almost put me into the barrier. This meant I was already off the back going into the dead turn, but I managed to get back on and move up the group along the back straight.
The course was mostly straight, flat and wide, and the pace was kept high the whole time. We were strung out along the straights and came together for corners. This meant it was hard for anyone to get away. Lots of riders tried, but nobody could make it stick.
Half way through the race was a sprint lap. I decided not to try for it and to save my legs for the finish.
By this time a few riders had dropped off the bunch because of the pace, but mostly everyone was still together expecting a bunch sprint.
As we were coming up to get the bell for one lap to go, a North Devon rider attacked hard out of the final corner. I was halfway down the group and quickly started to move up. My teammate, Reuben, had seen the attack and already got on the wheel.
The attack slowed before reaching the dead turn at the end of the finishing straight, and by the time we were on the back straight, everyone was together. It was definitely going to be a sprint.
As we approached the final corner I moved up the group and I came out of the corner in about third wheel. I didn’t want to make the first move as the corner was a long way from the finish, so I waited for someone else to launch first.
A Taw Velo rider came flying past me on the right so I started sprinting. I got level with him about half way along the straight but my back wheel kicked out and I lost some speed. I went again, put my head down and carried on sprinting. I passed him and managed to hold the advantage to win by around half a bike-length. It was a great race and really fun to be riding on closed roads.