Never trust the weatherman, not even one that is electronic and thus beyond human error. Otherwise you might turn up expecting a dry race and get a wet one. Or, as happened on Sunday, a really sodding wet one. Usually it’s the spray off the wheels that soaks you, but it was so wet I gave up entirely on worrying about where it was coming from and just concentrated on pedalling.
To be honest my target was to just finish the race: all eight laps and be in the main bunch, which is what the provisional results can confirm. Here’s my name among the massed ranks of 12th=:
What it doesn’t convey is how well I felt I rode. I got up at the front from the start and made sure I stayed there, or thereabouts for the whole race. Just about every lap I was up for attacking, putting in a little dig and making sure I was up the little hill in touch with the leaders. I was shouting when someone tried to go on a break and chased down a couple myself, although somehow we all managed to miss the decisive break when two riders went clear.
We had 11 riders from London Dynamo in the race and we all finished, most of us in the bunch sprint. It was quite impressive to be able to move through the group of 40 or so riders and always be able to pick out a clubmate to tow up to the front or sit on the wheel of. Which is probably why I made the slightly foolhardy mistake of trying to ride a leadout on the sprint. Yes, it was quick but unfortunately it both came a bit early and failed to take one of our team to the line first.
But blinkity flip did I enjoy coming off that last bend and winding it up. The sensation of shifting up, getting down low and then just giving it everything was amazing. I can’t tell whether I popped or just got swamped but I remember letting out a huge roar as I hit my limit and riders started to come past me. There were still about 100 metres or so to the line and if I hadn’t decided to lead out I might have stood a chance of being in the points.
But points will come I guess and I’m in no hurry to make the leap up the ladder quite yet. I’ve still got plenty to learn and I’d like to enjoy doing so. Really, at the moment, racing is just a good way for me to get some intensity training done without sitting on a turbo trainer or trying to motivate myself to do intervals.
I do hope there’s some pictures at some point because I reckon it must have looked mighty “Belgian” with the rain coming down and a huge peleton whizzing round. Only thing missing were the cobbles.
Time for me to go and rest my weary legs now and dream of Flanders, which is only a few weeks away now.