After a quiet early season for me what with illness and having to get back to full fitness it hasn't half started full on....but I'm loving it. I've spend all of April in Jersey training hard preparing for my first few races or the season which started at the Totnes-Vire 2 day and the Inter Insular in Guernsey (which Guernsey got 1-6 in) These races really set me up for my first big race the Lincoln Grand Prix the following weekend and then straight into the Pearl Izumi Tour Series.....
Coming into the Lincoln I was nervous, it had been 8 months since racing at that level and I was unsure where the legs were......The race went really well and the team were riding for Marcin for the win. The plan worked really well, but he had a big job on his hand having spend a long time up the road with Pete Kennaugh of Team Sky who was riding in Isle of Man colours. I was very active covering a lot of moves and clipped away on the penultimate time up Michaelgate climb with a small group sprinting for 3rd place. I paid for my earlier efforts and managed 5th, which I was very happy with. Marcin took 2nd and Yanto 8th which was a really strong team performance!
Feeling the burn with one to go in Lincoln GP
From Lincoln we travelled onto the Tour Series rounds which started in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. I sat out the first one but the team rode well taking the individual win and 2nd Team on the night behind Raleigh. We were unlucky with Niklas rolling a tubular tyre so not a bad start
I got the call up for Durham on the Thursday and was ready and raring to go, this is a very tough course...probably the hardest crit you can do. It consists of going up a pretty steep cobbled climb with a short flat section on top followed by a steep descent with a dead corner back onto the cobbled climb....only about 25laps. Ouch, it hurt but was great fun. Again the team rode well taking 4th spot and I took the sprint for 2nd place behind an on fire Christian House who solo'd the final laps! The team held onto their 2nd place in the series going into round 3.
Cobbled climbing pain in Durham
The last 10 days have been super busy with 5 races and lots of travelling. In the 3rd and 4th rounds, Stoke and Aberystwyth we had some work to do to try to stay in contention for the leaders jersey's in the series. The pressure was on and we were all fired up to put on a good performance.
In Stoke it worked out really well, I got in the break of the day which ended up coming back with 4 laps to go, with a monster lead out from the team and a monster turn by Chris, Yanto won the round and I finished 3rd, with Wilko in 7th. We won the team event on the night, with Raleigh having an unfortunate night we also drew on points and took the leaders jersey which was a massive buzz for all.
A happy team all round
Friday in Aberystwyth the pressure was on us to retain the jersey. Again the team rode amazing, with Chris up the road in a break taking 2nd place just behind Ed Clancy from Rapha. Niklas, Jon and I took 7th, 8th and 9th. This again gave us the team win on he night and a 2 point lead in the series.
Lead out for the bunch kick in Aber
From Aberystwyth we had an action packed few days to get to Jersey for the Jersey Town Criterium on Sunday before heading back to the UK for Tour Series round 5 in Torquay on Tuesday. The team again rode well in the Jersey crit with Greg riding strong taking the win on home soil and the rest of us filing up the top 5 places.
Tuesday in Torquay we were all motivated for another win and to try and get some more points in the leaders jersey. We rode as a unit again on what was a very different course for tour series and ended in a bunch sprint. Yanto and I lead the team out on the last lap and with Chris, Wilks and Niklas all up there we took the team win and managed to open our hold in the lead to 4 points which is great.
Todays round is in Colchester, another long day of travelling but we are hoping for much of the same as the previous few rounds. Woah, that was a long one....feels like writing a seasons worth of races in one blog, but it's not been just over two weeks!
Thanks for reading folks, I will update one or two rounds at a time now I'm up to date, so please keep checking back. A HUGE thansk to Larry from www.velouk.net for letting me use his awesome images, and also Guernsey boy Andy Colver, www.andycolver.co.uk for my new home page image!!