“Away you go then”
Keep in among the first third of the field for the first few laps and get a feel for the pace.
I’m making sure I’m strong out of the corners, trying not to do too much work, but trying not to drift too far back.
Feeling good, reckon I could stay in among the bunch, might have half a chance of looking for that elusive first BCF point, you never know you could win it. Who looks strong, whose wheel needs to be avoided. That guy’s bike needs a service, it sounds like a rusty pram full of rattles.
There go the first few digs to test the legs, don’t get caught up in chasing them down, let the bunch do the work and take your place in the line. Have a drink and try to keep it smooth and easy. Stay up the field and in the wheels.
Pace has gone up a bit, we’re about 10 minutes in, better look not to go out the back. Hang on there’s a couple of guy’s gone off the front, no one seems to be chasing them and they don’t look like they’re going to sit up.
Work your way round the outside, try not to get caught in the wind though. OK you’re breathing a little hard now, don’t do too much on your own, let someone else do the work.
This is where you need to tuck in and concentrate. You’re in the wheels, steady and recover yourself.
This is where you grab your breath back, check where you are in the bunch, towards the middle. Stay off the brakes through this corner and move up.
You’re drifting now, concentrate. Bollocks, you’re towards the back, work your way back round now. Stay out of the wind, you’re taking too much of it.
That’s better, now tuck in and recover. Feels like the pace has gone up, you’re hanging on in there.
You’re off the back now, come on, fight to get back in. Clear gap now, keep working back you can make it.
Ten metres clear, you’ll not get back on unless it eases up. It will ease up the next lap. Bunch is on the next sector, sit up and ride with the stragglers.
OK get back in when they come past, come on, push and back in. Nope no joy. Everything’s going tight, that’s not good.
Pull off the track, you’re not doing yourself anything flogging this horse.
And that’s my Tuesday at Hillingdon and just about every other race so far. It makes me rather angry with myself because I know I should be able to finish these things.