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.
We 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.
I 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.