First Circuit Race of 2016 – Sulis Scorpions round 1

A first circuit race for 2016, and my first riding for the BCDS Academy.

The days riding started with an early breakfast, and then a steady ride into Bath to the race circuit at Odd Down.

I arrived with plenty of time to spare so it was good to see lots of familiar faces and say hello to friends.

Sign on was very busy so it’s lucky I got there early as it gave me plenty of time to get ready to race. However there were a few delays, so by the time we got on to the circuit to start the race I was a bit cold.

morgan sat inAt the start of the race I got away well, and embedded myself in the front. At the end of the first lap another rider made an attack, and I decided to bridge across to it, as I knew he was a strong rider, and that the break could last. Another rider joined us but then subsequently sat up, and we were back in the pack, frustrating as I believe that if we worked together we could have stayed away.
Our attack had thinned out the lead bunch to about 11 riders though, so I just sat in conserving energy and observing moves, allowing me to be aware if the pace was going to pick up or lower.
This worked well, and at the start of the sprint lap I decided (as no BC points were on offer for it) not to properly go for it and conserve as much as possible. I still made sure I was near the front end though, so if it split I wasn’t caught out in the pack. Looking back on it I think I could have attacked after the sprint and potentially split it up further.

For the latter half of the race I stayed in the wheels, sheltering from the wind and observing what was happening, but trying to stay near the riders who I thought would be up there in the finish.

morgan crosses the lineWith two laps to go I started to position myself, moving through the pack and on to a wheel near the front, but not too far forward so that I would have to take the sprint lead out duty. In the final lap  I was able to hold the wheel, but didn’t have much room to move, so into the final corner I was about 8th-10th. I was able to get a good kick and sling shot out of the corner, and opened my sprint, quickly catching and overtaking riders ahead of me. I moved through and just missed out on 3rd place by a couple of wheel lengths.
I was happy with the result, especially with my sprint that I was able to finish the race off with.

All that was left was a gentle ride home for a good feed 🙂

A bit of CycloCross

[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][image_with_animation image_url=”44″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In”][vc_column_text]On Saturday 5th September I had a fun morning out at Odd Down for the Sulis scorpions go ride Cyclocross.

The racing involved a TT, mass start race and a handicap race. The course was created on the circuit, including hurdles, mud and steep grassy inclines.

I rode a decent time trial at the second attempt, after sliding out on a mud descent the first time around, and came 2nd in that stage. For the next race we moved to a different part of the circuit where the mass start race was held. The route was simpler but had a lot of tight turns. However the hurdles I was able to hop over without getting off the bike. At the start of the race I sprinted off, not wanting to get stuck behind any riders on the tight course. This opened up a gap for me that closed a little over the race but I was able to stay ahead and came across the line in first place 8 laps later.

IMG_0963 (1024x701)Due to the win in the mass start stage, I was in a good position heading into the last event, the handicapped race on the whole circuit. I got off to a good start, and was in a good position but then I slid out on the muddy and grassy ascent, costing me time. I got back up and then went to get going again, but the chain was off and jammed. Sorting that out cost more time, and so when I finally got back underway I knew my chances of winning were slim at best. Nevertheless I continued on and placed highly. It was then down to the organisers to add up the final points.
I expected to come second, however it was announced that both me and my friend Jos had tied on points. Due to him beating me in the handicap race he was given the win overall and I settled for second place.

It was a good morning of racing, great fun, and a change to the normal, smooth Tarmac that I’ve become used to.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]