Ben Hardisty writes…
What a difference a week makes – the previous Sunday the weather had been glorious, however the weather this Sunday was absolutely atrocious. At the HQ in Laughton the early riders were joking amongst themselves with an all knowing raised eyebrow about the conditions.
Poor Stef, I had persuaded him to do this ride, so I, being the vet, could bag a nice comfy bit of drafting on his back wheel. We allowed ourselves only about 5 minutes of warming up – mainly due to the fact that it was absolutely tipping it down, along with a very strong so’westerly.
As we set off, we had the wind behind us, and it certainly helped Stef put up a 50 yard gap after about a mile – I had warned him about my fitness and now after turning round and wondering where I was he realised that I wasn’t joking. My ‘off season’ form continued, and seemingly every time Stef turned a pedal I was dropped immediately !
At the first turn the SW wind was now across the course and as anyone with a deep rim or disc wheels will testify, it was not a day to ride on the aero bars – the gusts were so powerful that just keeping upright was tricky. At the next turn we were into the wind and this was slow going indeed, all the way to Earwig corner.
But before we got there, to complete his day, Stef punctured, leaving me, a vet, to ride on my own. Oh dear, now I had to get to the finish line by myself. At least after turning at Earwig I had the wind behind me once more and the thought of being caught by Messrs Anton and Woodward spurred me on to cross the line about a minute ahead of them.
Really should have stayed in bed.