Jersey 2015 - Island Games Part 2 - Road Crit and Wrap Up
I decided to sit out of the mountain bike criterium on Tuesday night, in a bid to try and get some feeling back into my shredded legs and core. It was a good call for me, to be honest; because watching Adam, Stu and Sean take part in the incredibly testing obstacle course didn’t leave me yearning to be racing in it. As mentioned in the previous post, my MTB bike handling skills are still in need of some work!
Road Town Centre CriteriumThursday rolled around quickly, and despite a pulled hamstring, I was feeling in decent shape for the criterium. The lapped circuit around St. Helier was set to be an incredible spectacle, and the crowd support was superb.
We lined up in the 50 deep field, and waited for the flag to drop…
The race went from the gun. Neither Sam, James onr I had a great start, and we were all towards the back of the pack as we headed into the first of many corners. After three laps or so, things quietened down and the race effectively split into two. I settled into the second group with Sam and Ian, and the hard slog began.
It was disappointing how few were willing to work in that second group, and aside from a few riders from Anglesey, there was little support for the chase. It was a shame, as at times we had an opportunity to make up ground on the main group. Instead, I ended up doing some long slogs on the front of the group, trying to keep it down to a reasonable size, so that James and Sam might have an opportunity to pull something out in the sprint.
After an hour of flat-out racing, we reached our final lap; one lap behind the lead group. We were instructed to sprint on the fourth of the five finishing laps (after the one hour was up); I suspected this could cause some confusion, and it did, especially as there didn’t appear to be a lap board showing for our chasing group. As a result, I tried to make sure I was towards the front of the group as we headed for the line on the last lap.
In fact, I managed to be on the front of the chasing group, and as a result managed a good placing for me, considering it should have been a bunch sprint that would normally have shelled me. I'm not sure of my official finishing position (they haven't been released), but I expect around 20th.
It’s been a fantastic week in Jersey, and we finished it off with a great day and night on Friday. During the day we had a leisurely ride around the island with the whole of the riding team. Then after a quick shopping trip into town to grab something to thank Russ and Tanzie, who have been our much needed support team and managers this week, we headed to the closing ceremony.
The closing ceremony really highlights what the Island Games is all about; small communities coming together to compete, and join together as one large community. Fireworks, drinks, tracksuit swapping (I've now got a very fetching Isle of Man/Orkney tracksuit combo), more drinks and plenty of laughs made up a great night.
The Island Games has been a superb experience, and has lived up to all of our expectations, both in terms of the atmosphere and the level of competition. It's been worth all the training effort, even if we haven’t come away with any cycling medals. It's also been great to see how the Isle of Wight team can work together. More from anything though, it has stirred up some serious motivation for all of the team to get out there, get training harder, and get faster for Gotland 2017!