Today Sam and I travelled to Bletchingly in Surrey for my second Surrey League road race this season. It would be fair to say it was a hot and hard day out.
The first lap of the race was eventful, with a horse bolting in front of the peloton, which stopped us for a good five minutes until the rider had picked herself up (unhurt), and caught up with it. We chased down a small break that had gone from the off, and it all came back together.
In the second lap of six, things started to heat up (temperature wise as well). Sam hit one of the many large potholes on the circuit and punctured; unfortunately ending his race. That left me as the only Wightlink-LCM Systems rider in the race, with the task of trying to compete against several large mainland teams. (Bit of deja-vu from the Redhill RR started!).
Breakaway attempts started going off the front of the pack thick and fast. I sat in the front four riders consistently, and desperate not to miss the break, tried to jump into every group that got a gap. With big teams of riders able to cover every break with just one of their riders though, it was hard to cover every one as the only rider from our team. In the end, on lap four of six, a break got off the front that I just didn't have the energy to get across to; unfortunately it was the one that stuck.
The break contained a rider from VC Meudon, who had a lot of riders in the race. Understandably none of their riders in the peloton were then willing to chase down the break; the unfortunate fact was that very few others in the main peloton at all seemed to be willing to chase down the break! The result?.... I ended up doing a lot of time on the front, and trying to break off the front in order to get across to the break. I paid for my earlier efforts though and just couldn't get away; lots of expended energy without anything to show for it.
The breakaway of three riders survived, and the VC Meudon rider went on to win. Chapeau to him! Unfortunately with all my efforts on the front when the road ramped up to the finish on the final lap my legs were empty of juice. I just about managed to hang on to take 7th in the main bunch (10th overall). Not a bad result, but I was kind of hoping for better I have to admit. It was a good day out though; a great circuit, and awesome weather, good to catch up with Sambo on the journey there and back too.