A little treat away for 24 hours concentrating on bike racing. It makes a difference when you can spend a bit of time preparing more meticulously. I travelled down on Saturday evening to Ipswich to stay in an Alan Partridge-style travel inn and talked bikes and sport most of the 24 hours.
Getting up and eating a healthy breakfast then having four hours at the venue before your race is a great help; we rode the course, changed tyres, practiced lines in and out of difficult wet, sticky, muddy bends, and generally immersed ourselves in being cyclists. Also had a good warm up and some excellent pit support (thanks Stuart and Pud), meaning that the day went pretty well.
Rob crashed heavily and lost a couple of places as a result, and Lewis’s ride was marred by a poor start and a crash near the end, but they finished 7th and 9th respectively, which could have been a lot worse. I was just happy again to avoid getting lapped. I rode a technically near-perfect race and stayed upright. My fitness dipped a bit ten minutes or so in but I picked up again, and finished 27th, pretty much the best I can get in the national trophy races at the moment.
The course itself was really good; any time you got to freewheel was spent braking hard and pretty much every corner was slimy and hazardous. The rain had come hard in the morning and that suited me – I just still was lacking a bit of oomph when the race settled down, particularly on the drags. Lessons learnt and I’m back into the training already!
Results here on the British Cycling site.