Robin Parker writes…
I rode the LVRC National Road Race Championships at Henley-on-Thames today. 55 miles in some very hot conditions. It was a full field with some very good riders – including some that I remember racing against when we used to live up in the midlands!
The break went on the first lap with 4 riders establishing a lead of just over a minute on a fast moving bunch. I thought that with the heat and rolling circuit that the break would come back. But hats off to the breakaways, they stayed away the whole day actually increasing their lead out to nearly 2 minutes at one stage. I was feeling pretty good on the last few laps but wasn’t ideally placed coming into the bunch gallop.
It was an “unusual” run in to the finish to say the least (others had alternative descriptions for it!). At the mile to go board you dive down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill there was a 90 degree blind right hand bend on an adverse camber with broken road surfaces. Round that and then a left hander and you’re at the yellow flag (200m to go) for a slightly uphill rise to the line. I wasn’t feeling as kamikaze as some and consequently was sprinting from a long way back! But I came through to take 6th in the bunch for a 10th place overall.
I understand that the A Cat event managed to catch a car during their bunch gallop (having caught it on the aforementioned nasty downhill bends) with the petrified car driver taking about 7th place in the gallop unsure whether to speed up, slow down or what! I believe that the UCI will be investigating the use of illegal motors on that one! A car in a bunch sprint is a new one on me. I remember having a horse galloping in the bunch once. And I also remember a Surrey League bunch merging with a flock of sheep on the Crowhurst circuit. That race was stopped while Keith Butler disqualified the sheep for not having their numbers displayed properly !
Anyhow. Two weekends, two LVRC champs races with a 2nd and a 10th to show for it. I’m pleased with that. I have some more BC points to win by the end of the season to get my 2nd cat license. And some more LVRC local events to compete in for the season long MStina Points competition. So plenty more to race for!