Race Report from Jason Kettle
Sigma Sport/ Twickenham CC Masters #5 Hillingdon Cycle Circuit – 08/06/2016
Another round of this popular series Today was damp with some very angry weather overhead, (again!) for 2 of the 3 hours beforehand the rain was torrential, with some hefty flooding all over! I warmed up on the turbo as usual, got on the track for the roll around before, and my gears started messing around? Wouldn’t change up easily? You know, 2 clicks up and 1 back to get a shift up! Fantastic, just what you need. So a frantic adjusting commenced, but with a few minutes until the start, I just had to put up with it…….
The race started fast from the off! So as I’m so generous, I joined in the fun, attacking up the climb on several occasions! (when I found a gear that worked) It wasn’t long before I managed to get a break going with 4 of us away. But looking who I got away with, I soon realized the big players were missing, so within a handful of laps it was bacK together again.
Counter attacks went, but there was still strong riders in the bunch, so I just let them bring it back, being such a gentleman that I am! Once this came back, a 5 strong riders went up the road, so I let the get a gap of a few hundred meters, then on the climb attacked and bridged across to them, making it over and dragging no one with me! (great) We were working well together and started growing the gap, but then with about 10 laps to go I front wheel punctured! on the hairpin! Held it and ran off, went over got a front wheel changed, but when I joined the race again it seemed like the bunch had caught the break again!?! Bugger! Obviously, this was a disaster! So sensing a lot of heavy breathing, I just got on the front and rode hard, forcing a split with 6 of us, happy days! The 5 laps to go soon went out, a bit of shenanigans started, but with still 3 to go we were getting brought back by the pursuing bunch. So you gotta choose, ride hard and get a top 6 or mess around and risk getting nothing in a chaotic sprint? Ride hard it was then!
Then a lap to go 2 attacked and got a gap, I’m usually the one who chases, but thought I’ll just see how big the gap gets before someone else does? So I kept waiting, then someone did, so I jumped on his wheel, gears clicking and grinding! Sadly, he left it too late to catch him! doh! The sprint opened up, I tried in vein to engage a higher gear but couldn’t, so 53/13 it was, couldn’t make it round and got 3rd! Still very enjoyable though, the day was only soured with another £50 puncture!