Reports from Race Secretary, Chris Eschle
Thursday 5th February 2015 – Dulwich Paragon Winter Series Race 2 Cat 4
Both Graham and I arrived in plenty of time to get signed on well before we were allowed on for a warm up. The start of the race went well, both of us started towards the front. I slipped back to my favourite ‘armchair’ position after a few laps, as a frost was starting to form on the track and I did not want to take any risks. Graham ploughed on towards the front, chasing the 3 points he needed to progress to cat 3. As we approached the end of the race, Graham was at the fore, pulling the peloton along, stringing the field out. Unfortunately he was a little too strong, and caught the break from another race, and was asked to sit up. So we sat up for a lap, and given the all clear to push on, Graham made another effort. He went past the break this time, but they tucked in behind him, so again our race was neutralised. Finally with 2 laps to go, we were given the all clear to race out the final 2 laps, the pace was high, but people were holding lines well. Graham maintained towards the front, and I started looking for opportunities to move up, with fresh legs realised there was a chance of points for both of us. In the final lap, it started to get a bit scrappy, people trying to find gaps that were not there. Graham was still near the front, and looking strong went on to take 7th on the line, and got the 3 points he was after. I unfortunately got caught up in a crash on the final straight further down the field so didn’t finish. Well done Graham on moving up to Cat 3.
You can see the video from the line here: http://youtu.be/C4asrfOFTi0
Thursday 29th January 2015 – Dulwich Paragon Winter Series Race 1 Cat 4
Graham and I planned our assault of the Winter Series at Lee Valley Velopark, taking in a reconnaissance ride the Sunday before which turned out to be great preparation. There was a hurried warm up, as the course was only open for 15 minutes before the race start. Then we were off. The race went well, Graham sat in the top 10 for all of the race, and I sat towards the middle of the peloton, but well within myself. Within a couple of laps, we had dropped quite a few riders, and that made me towards the back of the lead group. I decided to stay there as I was able to pick my lines, and stay sheltered from the wind. Graham was working hard, sharing the load with the other riders towards the front. There was some confusion in the final laps, as we had caught the 2&3’s who’d previously passed us, so had to ride some neutralised laps to let them get away. That done, we were given 2 laps to go, the pace increases a little, but still people were saving themselves for the finish. I tried to move up, but couldn’t find a way through. Graham held his position and was in the fight for 3rd in the sprint. He just missed out by around half a wheel, but still came 4th, gaining 6 more points for Redbridge and himself. I came in 17th, a little disappointing, but still my best finish yet.
See the sprint finish here: http://youtu.be/rgSHp0k0NiQ
Saturday 24th January 2015 – ELV winter series Race 3 Cat 4
With Graham otherwise engaged, I thought I’d use this race to tackle my battle with the Hoggenberg. I never thought I’d be in contention at Hog Hill, but this race has got me thinking otherwise. I managed to stay in the peloton for half the race, admittedly towards the back, but there none the less. And It was only a lapse in concentration that caused me to drop off the back. I rode the final few laps on my own, picking a few riders off as they also got dropped. But with 5 laps to go, I decided enough was enough, and withdrew as I was losing ground on the lead group, and they would have realistically lapped me in before end of the race. Still, I felt comfortable on the Hoggenberg for the first time.
Saturday 17th January 2015 – ELV winter series race 2 Cat 4
With Graham’s success last week, he was back again. The wind wasn’t as strong this week, but still enough to make it a tough race. Graham looked really strong, staying in the top ten riders for most of the race. Clocking up the laps, he looked comfortable (well, as comfortable as you can be climbing the Hoggenberg repeatedly). Having worked hard, and still feeling strong Graham decided to attack on the penultimate climb, and opened up a gap for the start of the final lap. He had hoped that other riders would join in the break, but it wasn’t to be. He tucked back into the peloton to try to recover for the sprint. But it wasn’t to be, and he finished outside the top 10. Still a great race!
Saturday 10th January 2015 – ELV winter series race 1 Cat 4
Eager to get back into racing, I’d signed up for this race back in December. I’d counting down the days to get my race bike out, and blow away the cobwebs! Well, they certainly blew away, and that was before we’d even started peddling. With gusts of up to 50kph, it was not a day for the fair weather cyclist! Anyway, I wanted to get near the front for the start, and Graham tucked into the field just behind. Coming out of the first corner, I’d opened up a small gap. Not wanting to lose position, I pushed a little up the back hill, and before I knew it I was off the front. That wasn’t the plan, nor was it even a good move on such a windy day. On the bottom circuit I tried to sit up, to get back in the bunch, but they seemed to be taking forever to catch me. Then 1 rider jumped across the gap, then another 2. Could we make this work? When we got to the hill, I decided to sit up, and slot back into the peloton. The wind was just too strong. After that I couldn’t get back in to the race, but Graham had been sensible and was going well! After 4laps I decided that was enough for me, and just as I got to the line, there was Graham, he’d punctured!! We quickly swapped our back wheels so Graham could get back in the race. The field gradually reduced (out of the 59 starters only 16 finished). Graham stayed with the front group, and then on the final climb of The Hoggenberg 2 riders attacked, Graham was boxed in, and couldn’t react. He found a way through, and jumped into 3rd by the turn, unfortunately he just couldn’t hold off some of the following riders, and dropped to 7th by the line. But still a great ride, well done Graham!!
Here is a video of the finish: http://youtu.be/8AiUwj6uW54
Wednesday 24th September 2014 Cycling Legacy Supporters League Twilight Crits #4
My last race of the season, my aim was to stay on until near the end and see if I can get into a good position for the finish. Unfortunately, I was not on great form. I was lazy out of the corners, and dragging myself back the few meters I lost. Then a break went off the front, it was about 7 riders, and they looked strong. About half way through, I started to get into a rhythm, and was tucked in the bunch quite nicely. Shortly after though, there was a crash, and I was caught behind. I had lost 20 seconds on the peloton. I worked to claw back some seconds, but realised, I wouldn’t have much left for the finish. As the break having stayed away, it would only be the first 3 of the peloton that got placed. With this in mind, I decided to retire after 45 minutes, I had had a good workout. Now it was time to take away what I had learnt from this season, and plan my training to get me ready for next.
Thursday 25th September 2014 Women’s Twilight Series #2
Alison’s first British Cycling race and was also her first outing on her new groupset. Her first lap went well, and held on to the peloton. Unfortunately there was an attack at the beginning of the second lap, and she couldn’t hold on with the change of pace. She carried on, clocking some very good solo lap times. One other got dropped and Alison caught her, and went straight past. Alison carried on until the end, even lapping the rider she had passed earlier in the race. Well done Alison, I am looking forward to seeing some great racing from you next season.
Wednesday 10th September 2014 Cycling Legacy Supporters League Twilight Crits #2
With my first attempt on the course ending due to a mechanical I wanted to give this course another go. Things started well, and was happily sitting at the back for the first half of the race. I did slip off the back a few times due to positioning, but found it easy enough to get back. 30 minutes in I decided I needed to move up, and managed to get to around halfway up the bunch only to get pushed back with a lapped rider dropping through the middle of the peloton, I then sat back and planned to make my move with 5 laps to go. Unfortunately the circuit was too tight, and couldn’t find a way through. I finished the race in the main bunch, managing to surf through to gain a few places, but still well down the field.
Thursday 11th September SERRL Evening Series event 11 E/1/2/3/4/W/J (Last in the series)
Not having much rest or much sleep since the race the night before, I wasn’t sure if it was worth me giving this a go, but I’d paid my money so here I was. The race started at a reasonable pace, and was happy sitting towards the back talking to a friend. I practiced the corner that had caught me out the week before, and felt much more confident. Then we were caught by the elites, 1s and 2s, the paced upped as we hung on to the back of them. I just tucked in and held on as best I could. Fortunately I was separate races, and we were told to have a neutralised lap to let their group get away. We then got on with the race, back at a comfortable pace. I held on, but at the end my legs were heavy, and I only managed 28th place out of 33 finishers.
Don’t forget to can keep track on some of the races on RiderHQ: http://www.riderhq.com/groups/
If you want any information about the racing please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Hutchinson rode Trike Association 25 on 7th April from Diss to Thetford and back in 1:15:33 – 2nd place but 4 minutes adrift. Well done Chris – Making two wheels do a 1.15 for a 25 is hard enough with the weather we’ve had – but three wheels!