It’s a bit of an odd one this year… I’ve been intensely focused on the preparation for the Three Peaks this year – almost always the first big race of the season, when all of a sudden, they add another National Trophy race to the calendar. Just on a weekend when i really should be trying to do three hour slogs up hill and down dale, I’m called upon to whip myself round a very fast circuit in boiling hot conditions for an hour. Whilst it’s great training and in itself a fantastic race, my heart’s not exactly in first-round-of-the-national-trophy mood.
It was 23° when we set off at 2:15, but still a good warm-up was needed. I was glad I sweated it out on the turbo trainer for 20 mins beforehand as I found I got myself straight into racing. The new bike felt absolutely spot on and I got myself into – for me – a good position of 27th, as the race settled down. Rather than my normal feeling of resignation, I was keeping on chasing hard after the guys in front, and had only lost 20 seconds to team mate (and recent world firefighter road and MTB cycling champion!) Stuart 20 mins into the race when it all went pear-shaped. I flung it too hard into a fast corner and braked too late. The resulting broadside skid yanked my tyre off the rim and with the pits a seemingly endless half lap away from me, I did my best to keep my spirits up whilst running with the bike on my shoulder. When I eventually got to the pits I’d dropped 14 valuable places and was almost in last place.
I kept slogging away however, and used the rest of the race to keep myself in training – taking in valuable technical experiments with various cornering lines etc, whilst the inevitable lapping came with ten minutes from the end.
Never mind.. 6 hours in the car for 50 minutes’ racing and a poor result, but nevertheless an enjoyable day. Six days til the biggie.