10th May. LVRC. Toachim Vets Series Round 3. Swindon.
It’s been quite some time since I last filed a race report. This is primarily because I had a nasty gap in my race calendar, compounded by Round 1 of the LVRC Toachim Vets Series being postponed (until August!) due to road works. I did pick up a 4th place at a BC Masters event at Cyclopark last Friday but then followed that up with a disappointing “nowhere” finish at Round 2 of the LVRC Toachim Vets Series near Basingstoke in some fairly horrid weather. I didn’t really want to talk about that ride – much less write about it!
So to this weekend. Round 3 of the LVRC Toachim Vets Series at Swindon. A change to the usual circuit (due to more road works!) mean that the usual finish climb was replaced by a much shorter and less steep climb, with the finish on the lower slopes. Not nearly as favourable for me!
The race itself was fairly uneventful. Which seems a bit of a harsh thing to say as it was actually run off at a quick pace (41kph I’m told – I didn’t have my Garmin on) with pretty much constant attacking for the whole race! But nothing managed to establish itself for any length of time. Until that is, about 5 km to go when Vince Devine, Gianluca Capello and one or two other riders finally managed to escape the clutches of the rampaging peloton.
As the escapees dangled off the front, attacks reined off the front of the bunch. I tried to get across with another rider, but we were soon snaffled back. Riders desperately scrambled for wheels, everyone conscious that time was running out to regain the front. As we rounded the final corner with about a quarter of a mile to go I was well placed about 5th in line – but it was already clear that we would not catch the breakaway.
The road started to head upwards at around 300m to go with a slight right hand bend over a narrow bridge. I was about to make my move up the right hand side of the road. Unfortunately everyone had the same idea, and as the front riders went for the right hand gutter I was completely boxed in. As the road ramped upwards gaps started to appear, but it was all too late for me to make much of an impression. I finished 4th or 5th or so in the bunch so maybe 9th –ish overall.
Another so-so result – at least I felt better that I did last week. My training has been going really well. But following the gap in my race calendar, I feel like I am missing a bit of “race rhythm” and my race performances just aren’t coming up to the level that I was hoping for. As I taper off now ready for a rash of National Championship events (TLI Crit Champs (Rhyl) next weekend; LVRC RR champs (Malvern) following weekend and then British Cycling Masters RR Champs (Buckinghamshire) weekend after that) hopefully I can regain a bit of rhythm and treat myself to a race performance to shout about!