Maindy Freewheel League

On Tuesday 19th April we went racing at Maindy track, but this time on road bikes! Before I had only ridden the track bike there, but the organisers had created a technical course with lots of tight bends and corners using the centre of the track.

warm upWe ended up arriving early – a couple of hours before our race, as traffic was good on the way down, and the racing ended up being delayed slightly. This gave plenty of time for getting ready to race from the sign on and change into kit to the warm up itself. It also allowed time to pin my Garmin into the skinsuit, as the comissaire didn’t want units on display for distraction reasons.

I didn’t get away at all well, I messed up clipping in, and without thinking I started at the bottom of the track, so didn’t have any height as extra speed to get going with. Due to this I got swamped from above, and I managed to clip in half a lap later.
It meant I was at the back of the line, so I spent the next laps moving up through when I could. Unfortunately it split when I was one bike behind the last rider who made the split. Once I saw this I engaged in a chase, although moving though the group had taken an effect on me.

morgan maindyI kept chasing, and on one lap the gap would shorten, the next lap it would slightly extend.
I was doing well at closing the gap and all the while putting time into the chasing pack behind me. I then got stuck behind two back markers on the technical part of the course. This slowed me, the leaders got further away and the chasing pack closed in. I was starting to tire now, and shortly after this I was back in the chasing pack.
After a couple of laps in the pack, I launched again, as I was recovering in the pack, and it was making no inroads into the break.
I got away and established the gap well, and it was a big effort. I then pulled two riders back from the break who had dropped off, and I went straight over the top of them. I was able to keep the gap to the pack, and was extending my advantage. But I was feeling the effects of my work.

Again I got caught behind back markers in the technical part, which took distance out of my lead. I then got another bit of bad luck, as the chasing pack were now being towed to me by a lapping rider that they sat on the back of. Due to this, my advantage diminished greatly, and in a few laps I was back with the smaller chasing pack.
I then stayed on this pack, but made attacks whenever I could, but I didn’t manage to properly open a gap.

With three laps to go, I started thinking about the finish, as I was now feeling like I had a bit more in the tank for the final sprint. With two to go I started to move up to my preferred second wheel. As I was moving up and there was a lap to go, the lead rider was finishing, and where we crossed the line at the same time, that was the end of the race. I didn’t know this, so did an extra lap, as when approaching the line I saw 1 to go.

Due to this I ended up finishing 6th, but felt good and could have probably been 4th. This was annoying, but I was glad of my moving up, otherwise I would have been even worse off. I had given a good effort throughout the race, made some good long attacks, but it didn’t go all to plan after a bad start, but that’s racing.

Now all that was left was a cool down, get my race license back, change and then head home again to rest and recover for the next day of riding.

BUCS Open 3 Up Team Time Trial

On Sunday 17th April, Dad and I were taking part in a three up team time trial organised by Bath University. We were taking part in the open event that ran in the morning, with the university competition in the afternoon. I was riding with my BCDS teammates; Charlie and George, and Dad with Charlie’s dad Simon, and George’s dad Russ.

We had attempted a course recce on the Tuesday, but 15 minutes in to this my rear tub exploded after hitting a nasty pothole, so that was the end of my ride, with the others continuing to ride the course after it became apparent that I was unable to continue.

We arrived in plenty of time, and met up with our teammates and got sorted out in terms of signing on and getting into kit.
3 up warm upAll of us warmed up together doing the same, so got the team spirit going. By the end I was feeling good, and ready to go hard. We made our way to the start, and were soon away.

We started hard, and got away and up to speed well.
The first time up the sharp climb I was on the front, and kept it together. Once over the top I got it up to speed, and then changed.
Coming onto the A420 I was on the front, and I changed as I’d just done a turn and Charlie was going to pull it up to speed and along. Once at the speed we kept it up, changing when we started to fade. I ended up doing a shorter turn, as the climb was coming and I was going to pull up it, so we got changes in to give me a short recovery, going into the bottom of the climb in the best place possible.
Once on the climb I kept a steady pace, making sure my team mates kept together. Over the top I stayed on the front until we were up to speed, before changing. After a few more turns I began to feel the effects of the long effort up the climb.
Towards Castle Combe I missed a turn, as I was suffering and wanted a bit more recovery, as I thought it would be better to do it now rather than later.
Once I had recovered a bit, I was able to go hard again, and do long turns maintaining the speeds.

Near the end of the run I was feeling tired but strong, and I was confident that I could last at a high intensity. We were able to do the same stretches of road on the front as when we started, and we knew that worked.

Going up the final climb we stayed together. I then stayed on the front, as we went up the climb hard. I thought the finish was closer to the top of the climb, so I was emptying myself too early.
I was able to keep increasing the speed, and when I could see the finish I was relieved. The message was shared, and we all fanned out and sprinted for the line.
podium timeI was absolutely dead once past the line, and we had done a great ride that we were all pleased with.
We ended up riding a 54:27 for the 36Km, which was good enough for fourth overall and the quickest juvenile time by a fair distance. The dads team did a 58:48, which was a good time as they were plagued with technical difficulties.

Zappi’s Crit Number 5 – a long attack

IMG_3298On Sunday 3rd April, it was off to Enstone and Zappi’s Crit number 5. A number of teammates were also racing, and as a team we were going to try and make plenty of attacks in the race. We got there early, as my sister Laura was racing before me, giving me plenty of time to get ready, into kit and warmed up. A couple of recon laps as a pack and we were ready to race.

IMG_2044 (1024x683)I got an ok start, some riders “jumped the gun” and once clipped in I got to the middle of the pack. This remained for the lap, and then a lap later when pace was added, I had to make my way up the pack. Once there I sat myself in towards the front.
A teammate attacked as planned, and then once he was back, I prepared myself to launch the next attack.
IMG_2046 (1024x646)When I went I opened up a gap, and then kept pushing even though the pack were close, it strung out and gaps started to open. The strongest riders got to me half a lap later, but they all sat up. I looked back and saw gaps, so I decided to kick on again. No one followed straight away, and I opened up a large gap, and I kept pushing.
I got into TT mode, and kept going, and the distance back to the chasing bunch grew.

A few laps later I became aware of a rider who was bridging across. Once he had made it we worked together, and I quickly realised that we were likely to stay away. The gap grew out which I was glad about because I was starting to run out of energy. Even when Nathan launched off the front of the pack he wasn’t making any inroads to us.

IMG_2089 (1024x749)With the lap board indicating the countdown from five laps I was delighted, as I was really starting to feel the effort, as the race had been full gas from the off and I had been out front for the majority of the race. It was during this lap or one later that through the chicane I lost the wheel of the rider I was working with, and was too tired to chase back on.
I then had to keep going, and it was more a mental thing, I told myself that I had to keep pushing for 4 laps, after all I had been able to push for the previous 30 minutes! This got me through the laps, and I kept doing the countdown, which helped me. I knew in the final lap that I would be second, and it was extremely pleasing. I kept pushing until near the line, where it was nice to finish not in a sprint and secure with my placing.

IMG_2084 (1024x683)At the end I was really happy with my race, and where I had come. I had given it a a couple of attacks and been able to get away for the break, and was able to keep pushing through the pain. My tactic had worked this time, and I had got a good result. I know it is a case of varying tactics in future races, but you never know, next time it may be a win.

After a cool down, it was time for food, in particular Dad’s birthday cake, although I’m not sure of its nutritional value for recovery!