Monmouthshire Junior National RR. Harrison Wood reports on his continued progress at National level:
“Today was my 3rd junior national and after crashing out at cadence and getting caught up behind a crash at the Rutland classic, I was hoping for some better luck! I traveled up on the day with Louie and we’d heard from fellow rider Joe Saunders that it was very hilly. Something that I was looking forwards to! Signed on and gear checked I began my warm up and the legs felt pretty good.
We rolled out and I moved myself to the front and went on the offensive. Attacking early on on the first climb. It strung out and over the top a group of 5 including me had gone clear. We worked hard on the rolling terrain and one rider was dropped but then we were joined by another rider in Joe Nally. We continued to work and got the gap up to 1 minute on the peloton. We then had finished the long circuit and began the very hilly shorter circuit. First time up we rode a hard tempo and we got a time gap of 3 minutes back to the peloton and 1 minute back to a chasing group containing some strong riders. Second time up the long climb we had around 30 miles left to go and had a gap of 4 minutes to the bunch and 1 minute still to a bigger chasing group now. I knew I was in with a good chance of top 20’ing. By this point there were 4 of us in the break. Me, Dan Coombe, Joe Nally and Josh Sandman.
We were rolling through but my legs were beginning to struggle after 60 miles in the break! On the back of the course up a short climb I tied up badly with 15 miles to go and was dropped from the lead group. I chased hard on the descent and rode tempo up the first part of the climb on the circuit. I was caught by the chasing group and sat in and recovered. I got round with this group the final lap and got up the final climb to get 12th on the line only 2 minutes down on the leader.
I was chuffed with this ride as I had been in the main break for pretty much the whole race. Recent opportunities in Belgium have helped my bunch skills come on quite well and also my top end fitness which really helped on this very hilly circuit. The rest of the depleted bunch including Louie who came 26th finished a further 6 minutes down on the leader just proving how the hilly circuit split the race up so much.
Thanks to MDCC for supporting us for this race.”