TOUR SERIES FINALE, CIRCUIT OF THE FENS AND NATIONAL ROAD RACE CHAMPS

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yet again the weeks have flown by and the races to write about have built up and it seems like I'm having to write my life story in a blog......so here goes!

Last week of the Tour Series was a hectic one, 3 Tour Series rounds followed by Circuit of the Fens, a 200km road race on Sunday, That's like 5 criteriums in a row!?! At least it was flat...

The team continued our run of great results in the Tour Series with 3 back to back team wins and an individual win in Aylsham by SpeedieOpie!

The highlight of the week had to be the final days racing in Ipswich.  We really had to keep our cool and finish the job off to make sure we won the series.  The final round consisted of a 2 lap team time trial followed by a normal crit round in the evening.  Even though we had a healthy lead anything could happen and we wanted to go out there and finish the job we had done so consistently from the 3rd round.

The time trial was going to be a close one, the time being taken on the 5th man over the line so any crashes and you would be out of the game and finish down the standings which would leave us in a worrying position for the final round....we went out with the plan being to keep it safe.....so mainly staying upright!

We were last off and chasing Node4's fastest time they held at the time.  Unfortunately for Raleigh they had one rider crash and in having to wait for him had set the slowest time so far....this was a reminder that we had to keep it safe.  It was close, very close....We were a second down on Node4 after the first lap, but managed to pull back 2 seconds on the final lap and won.  This meant we had also tied up the overall series win with a round to spare.  It was a good feeling that the pressure was off but didn't mean we were going to go into the final crit half hearted and saved the celebrations for later once the job was complete....

Trying to bridge to Scully....

Ipswich 2

The plan was very much the same for the afternoon as it had been for every other round.  I got in an early 4 man move, shortly followed by a group coming across to us, most teams having 2 in there and Yanto joining me from UK Youth.  We worked well together with Liam Holohan from Madison spending several laps solo out front before being closed down....with 10 laps to go Tom Scully from Raleigh hit out hard solo.  He dangled off the front of the now fragmented break for several laps before everyone started to watch each other and he went onto win solo.  We tried hard to catch him and were sprinting for 2nd place....I managed 5th with Yanto 6th, Wilko lead the 2nd group on the road home which meant we had again won the Team award even though it was close with Madison-Genesis in 2nd.....It was the best way we could finish the series with winning both events on the day.  The podium was something else, I've never had a champagne spraying podium before, and I'm told this was the best ever...being blinded by champagne seemed such a waste but well worth it, I definitely won't be forgetting that memory!

The Podium....Awesome

Ipswich 4

We had a good night to celebrate but we all had Sundays road race at the back of our minds....200km after an already race heavy week wasn't going to be easy!

Sunday morning comes and everyone is pretty keen to get stuck in again, but mindful that 200km will take its toll in the legs.  The master plan was to sit in and chill for the first two hours before putting the race in the gutter and going for it...what ever the race situation.  We could have been in Holland or Belgium, long straight narrow roads, canals and plenty of wind.  These kind of roads lend themselves to echelon racing where riding in crosswinds make it a lot harder to sit in the bunch and when the race goes hard everyone is looking for shelter but its only the guys at the front who are "working" that get to recover from being sat in the winds.  Everyone else is sat behind working as hard a the guy sat on the front.....

After about 1.5hrs of racing a break was up the road by 5 mins.  We decided it was time to hit the front in the next crosswind section.  The 8 of us got to the front and started riding, hard.,.it hurt, at lot! But was great fun, after a few Km's we had split the bunch and only 2 non UK Youth guys had made it with us.  We kept the pressure and and were steadily eating into the breaks lead.  After 120km of racing, having picked up the 2nd group on the road we caught the front group to make about 25guys.  Within 10km a break had formed of 8 guys which had 4 UK Youth, 3 Node4 riders and a lone Sigma rider.  I just missed the move and got away with Tom Stewart from Raleigh and we had a very, very long 70km ahead of us in no mans land chasing the front group and being cased by the rest of the break and peleton....the boys did a top job up the road with Marcin winning, Niklas 2nd, Josh 3rd, Yanto 5th and I came in 9th after one of the hardest days on the bike I've ever had...most of you will know that I have a strong dislike of TT'ing so 70km with one other is not my cup of tea!

Coming toward the final few kms and its hurting!

CotF

Last feed of the day, lots of gels were needed to keep me alive. 

Cot F5

Having had a pretty chilled week back in Jersey, it was time to head off for the National Road Race Champs.....and it's fair to say it couldn't have gone much worse.  I suffered several mechanical issues on the first lap having to have a wheel and bike change.  I expended a lot of energy getting back to the peleton, to then shortly after need another wheel change.  I managed to get in a small chasing group as the race had split up but my legs finally gave out after 90km and I retired from the race.  I was gutted, but that's bike racing....I just hope that, that's my bad luck for the season!

It's going to be a very busy July with the Island Games in Bermuda approaching fast and plenty of Premier Calendar and Elite Criterum series races to come...

I have to say a massive thanks to everyone in UK Youth for an awesome last few weeks, I'm proud to be a part of such a dedicated group of people and can't wait to get stuck in for the rest of the season.  Special thanks to Pov, Jenko, Sam and Steve who are DS, soignier/ mother on the road, Mechanic and Team Coach who have made the last few weeks and this season less stressful with all their work behind the scenes....

 

Thanks for reading

Tobyn

 

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@TobynHorton