Where has that gone.....another week gone and another 3 Tour Series rounds ridden, and still loving it.
Round 5, Colchester last Thursday was another good one for the team. It was probably one of the hardest so far, up there with Durham earlier on in the series. With a long draggy finishing straight and a fast downhill leading into a tight chicane, before a sharp left onto a little kicker of a hill. It was a fast and furious start and the team were riding really strong. We covered all the right moves and it was when my teammate Jon Mould attacked and took two other riders with him that a break stuck. The pace didn't ease up behind and they were having to ride hard up front to stay away. They opened up a lead of about a minute and it was pretty obvious the winner was going to come from that group, and it would be a bunch sprint for 4th place. Mouldy delivered taking a very dominant win after attacking and dropping one of the riders he was with. Behind, we backed him up for another team win after a close one with Raleigh. I won the bunch sprint with 4th and Yanto in 6th with a Raleigh rider sandwiched between.
In the Bunch
Cooked after going for a long one in the sprint for 4th
After Colchester I went back to Jersey to hit base for the weekend which was a nice break from a hectic 10 day period. We had a nice 4.5hr ride in the sun around Jersey catching up with Hank and Tang and sharing stories from their RAS experience and us Tour Series.
Tuesday 7pm and I'm back on the start line again, this time Redditch. Another tough circuit with a short but steep kicker onto the finish before a super fast downhill leading onto a flatter back section of the course and dragging up back onto the finishing hill. A break of 5 went very early on after 7minutes with Opie representing us, they stayed away all day and a strong solo ride from Tom Scully from Raleigh saw him lap the peloton in the closing few laps, shortly after the rest of the break as well. Tour Series rules states that if lapped the riders should sprint for placing with 3 laps to go. After some confusion in the peleton on which lap to sprint for, Team Metaltek won the team on the night and we finished 4th team, with Opie taking 3rd. We were still leading the series but now only had a 5 point lead heading onto Canary Wharf round in London.
Thirsty on a warm evening in Redditch
After a nice ride west of London around Windsor, soon enough it was Thursday and Canary Wharf round. This was an important round for the team as UK Youth's head office is within a stones throw from the circuit.....If it is possible to be over 100% motivated and up for it, then we defiantly all were! With Nigel and his family there as well, there was a lot of support and shouts on all parts of the circuit. It's was great hearings UK Youth chants!
How motivated we all were really shone through in the race, with everyone on super form. Canary Wharf is the fastest and flattest circuit by some way. It's a rectangle with two long straights and only two slow corners. This didn't make it easy by any means, it was 1hr and 8minutes of flat out racing and that showed with and average speed of over 52Kph. As a team we really animated the race. We covered and made moves/ break and tried really hard to make them stick but to no avail. It was looking like a bunch kick and Node4 and Rapha took the lead out up. All 5 of us were up there for the sprint in the final few laps. Unfortunately we lost Greg to a crash with 2 to go (he is a bit beaten up but ok). Coming into the final corner SpeedyOpie came up my inside and put himself in a perfect position on Ed Clancy's wheel for the sprint and the rest of us were right there as well. I think the photo below sums up what happened well enough, the smiles on all our faces and an emotional Opie taking the individual win from Ed! With Marcin in 4th, myself 5th and Yanto 6th we won the team on the night and have now opened up a 10 point lead in the series over 2nd place Raleigh.
A photo that sets the Canary Wharf scene
On the attack.....trying to get a gap
A rather happy Speedy Opie, with the rest of us backing him up
On the podium with a happy Team
I think this photo says a lot about the Team....We are as happy for a teammate to win as you would be yourself!
I'm just about to come into land in Jersey for the weekend now. Having only had 3.5hrs sleep you'd think I'd be tired but I'm still buzzing from last night....feeling a crash and burn nap later in the sun!
Thanks for reading folks and thanks again to Larry from www.velouk,net for letting me use his images!
A few links to articles of his below
and a mid Series report