Robin Parker writes…
Next up, an LVRC crit at the Gravesend Cyclopark on 10th March. In complete contrast to Hillingdon, events here rarely end in a bunch sprint. The undulations, a few good corners and exposed cross winds usually make for some splits. This event was no exception. I made the right move forcing my way into a leading group of 6 (if you ignore Anthony Wallis who just rode off on his own the guy is some kind of machine!). Behind the bunch fractured leaving 2 main chase groups, neither of which would see the break again.
Unfortunately some tactical naivety (I put it down to the cold weather freezing higher brain function), I completely failed to take account of the fact that 3 of my 5 break-away companions were from the same team (in my defence, one was wearing a different coloured jersey). So when one of their number jumped away with 2 laps to go, I didn’t work out why there was no urgency to chase. It was only after I decided to take things into my own hands with a couple of strong attacks coming up for the bell, that I had a light-bulb moment and twigged what was happening.
I managed to get rid of all but one of my companions with a final attack with half a lap to go, but had no choice but to tow one of the three amigos to the line where he promptly did me in the sprint. Still 4th in race and 2nd in age category not too bad. And a useful reminder that while last year, due to poor fitness, it took available mental capacity and every trick in the book to hang on this year I have to remember/re-learn some tactical thinking!