Python RT Summer Road Race

14/08/05
My second road race of the year, and I've managed to maintain my season's record of placing no worse than fourth.... with a fourth place.... But I have to say that my heart really isn't in this road racing thing at the moment - so I made the right decision not to enter the Surrey League 5-day this year. The race today was on my local evening '10' course (but a bit longer than the usual club time trial, at 9 laps and 140km) - I had planned on riding out to the event, but it was raining when I had to leave, so ended up driving. My legs were feeling fresh after yesterday's time trial was cancelled due to heavy rain. I had spent most of the week resting after Italy, apart from racing the aforementioned '10' on Thursday - I did 21:31, which I was initially disappointed with. But thinking about it on the way home I was actually pleased - I matched my PB for the course, set last year, but without pushing myself especially hard. Anyway, back to today: It was dry as we rolled out, and although we fortunately didn't get rained on too much during the race, there were some heavy showers on parts of the course, which made for a lot of spray at times. I was determined to rip it up today, so attacked as soon as they took the flag in from the lead car. I had one rider for company, but he wasn't strong enough to be too much help. But after half a lap, pro Tony Gibb and his teammate came across, and the three of us settled into a good rythmn. Gibb didn't seem too concerned about really knuckling down and getting on with it, freewheeling to relieve himself, and going back to the car for timecheck information. We were out on our own for over three laps when we heard there was a group of 12 at a minute; Gibb decided to sit up and wait - the other two of us pushed on, but it wasn't long before we were swallowed up. The ensuring group was really too big to work cohesively, but we managed to crack on for a couple of laps to establish a good lead over the bunch. Gibb didn't do any work though, just sat on the back, although his two teammates were working with the rest of us. As we passed the 3 laps to go board the first skirmishes started, and when it all came back together again we had lost the weaker riders. But the attacks continued. Gibb's team, with three strong riders, had the advantage of being able to cover all the moves. Unfortunately for me, I had just countered and was recovering when the winning move went - Gibb and a strong French rider. With three non-working teammates in our group, we had trouble getting a chase organised; by the time we did, it was too late, and the two were way up the road. Still, we mostly worked okay together until the final half a lap, when everyone started looking at each other. Gibb's teammate, well rested from sitting on, attacked and got away. I didn't want to leave it to the sprint, so used a little tactic which has been successful in the past - the non-attack! With no-one wanting to ride on the front, I drifted forward, then used a slight downhill section to roll slightly off the front. Then I gradually increased the power, and got myself a gap before anyone noticed, at which point I put the hammer down and took off on my own. I was able to increase my lead all the way to the finish to take fourth.