Marek Siwicki writes…
Sunday was the 3rd and 4th cat race which was handicapped on the
Alfold circuit, for those who did the 4 up this year it is half of
that course. We did 3 and ¾ laps which is about 50 miles as each lap
is 12.5 miles.
They let the first group go which consisted of fourth cat riders,
women and vets. Then the group of 3rd cats were let off about 3
minutes later which is where I was. We started off and there were not
many doing too many turns on the front. In fact there were only about
3 or 4 of us who seemed to be serious about catching the group ahead.
I decided to try and pick up the pace a bit as last year we did not
catch the lead group. Before I knew it I was on my own. This was a bit
annoying as I had not intended to move away from the group. I ended up
doing about 6 miles out ahead and I was not even going that hard. I
let the others catch me up and shouted at them a bit to work a bit
harder. This did nothing, so myself a couple of guys from London
Dynamo just worked our butts off. At about half race distance we
caught up with the group ahead. The race slowed a bit at this point
and then a guy from South Western CC went off the front. He looked
quite strong and no one else seemed willing to chase. I pinged off the
front and no one else came with me. I caught up with the guy ahead and
told him we had a gap and we should work for the win, he was up for
We put our heads down and worked really hard and we got a reasonable
gap. As we came around to the bell lap Dave Kennett told me afterwards
that he reckoned we had about 100 metres. I spoke to my breakaway
companion and we both felt alright, so we carried on working hard.
Halfway around the course there is a sharp corner which goes past a
green. This is a good place to look back and judge the gap. We had
increased the gap since the bell and so we carried on heads down
sharing the load. Then my breakaway companion indicated that he was
starting to suffer. With only a few more miles to go he indicated that
he would let me win without a sprint as long as I got him to the line.
I agreed and sat on the front and did a long turn. He came through
again for a small turn but he was struggling with the pace so I went
through again. We seemed to be maintaining our gap and now we could
not see the peleton at all as we were in the winding lanes.
As we got into the back section a few draining hills felt like they
went on forever, but over the top and we blasted down the other side.
At one point I nearly lost the back end as I hit a pot hole at speed
and the bike jumped. Before long, although it seemed like an eternity
we were onto the finishing straight and I put in a final burst of
speed just to make sure my companion was not going to come around and
then arms in the air I came over the line for my first ever league
I am well chuffed, to win from a breakaway feels really fantastic. I
am over the moon and now know what a lot of the other riders who have
won races this year feel like.
The peleton came over the line about 30 – 40 seconds behind which was
really satisfying to see.
Cheers from a very happy Marek…..