That is the observation from Ian Paine as to where I went wrong on Sunday. He’s absolutely right. The mistake I made was to allow myself to drift down the field in the final laps.
It’s frustrating but I know where I went wrong in the second Surrey League London Dynamo Beginners Series Race which means I can and will improve. I’d better start doing so soon because not scoring points is starting to frustrate me.
My first mistake was to ignore my own observations about the head and cross wind down the straight and first bend and trying to force a break with a clubmate with about 4 laps to go. That put my heartrate right through the ceiling and left me gasping and battling to stay in the bunch. I went back through the group faster than a greased pig out of a butcher’s shop.
Stay in the bunch I did, whereas in previous races I’ve slid off the back of the bunch, which counts as a personal victory. However, it left me with a long way to go to get back to the business end of the race. By the bell I was mid-bunch but failed to work my way up into the first third which is where I needed to be over the lumps at the back of the course.
My speed over the downhill bits got me up a few places but not enough to to contemplate the sprint. Let’s face it, if you’re forty places back off the last corner with about 1km to the line there’s not much point in burying yourself for 12= again. So I sat up a bit and coasted in to the line.
Actually I had a good reason other than lack of personal pride in my finish: getting home to my girlfriend’s for lunch in one piece. I’ve not been doing big miles so far this year and wasn’t entirely certain how my body would cope. Acton to Chertsey (20 miles/33km, race (24 miles/38km) and then Chertsey to the far side of Islington (35 miles/56km), counts as a bit of a long one for someone who hasn’t even done the Surrey Hills since some time before Christmas.
The good news is that I made it in one piece, managed lunch and didn’t pass out on the sofa. The bad news is that my legs hurt like hell for the rest of the day and then I had to ride back to Acton in the rain which means I have to clean the bike this week. Not that it’s not due a wash and check.
Really the good news is that I was moving a lot more determinedly and powerfully, barring a small fade round Hampton Court on the way back. Add up the the distance and how I feel and divide by the time of year and it’s all gravy (onion to go with sausage and mash) for where I would like to be come July.