Friday, 16 October 2015

Central CXL Round 2 Milton Keynes

Round two marked the first of three visits the Central League would make to the Bowl this season. And like the week before the weather was playing nice, meaning LBRCC attendance was good, though at the time of writing this (3am) I'm having trouble recalling exactly who was there! I do know that Ross and Mitchell rode seniors, Jules, Andrew and Colin were in Vet 40. And Miles, Darren, Kevin, Steve Judd and myself were in Vet 50. And hats off to Steve, one novice race and straight into the vets.
The first wave of LBRCC racers were off in V40. I literally arrived as they were getting ready to go. So before getting into my warm up routine, I loitered around to watch the early race unfold. The race order was the same as last week at RAF Halton, Jules just ahead followed by Andrew and Colin. As I said last week, it's hard to say what exactly happens in their race as all I can see is them passing me lap after lap. I can say that the race order didn't change. And I must confess I was having a little shout at Andrew watching he's re mounts. Though as it turned out he was having issues with the pedals.
Jules went on to take club honours in the category. And after the race whilst chatting with Jules a smiling Andrew came over to say he's pedals were playing up. Jules and myself looked down at the offending Eggbeaters, and I know Jules was thinking the same as me, that they weren't playing up....they were totally shagged. Seems Andrews run of bad luck wasn't going away.

So to my race, grand dads, silver surfers...oldfarts! That said it's a pretty nifty lot, probably because by the time you hit your mid fifties, most of the lets say slower boys have jacked in this racing lark. And it probably goes some way to explain why we have the Vets World Champion resplendent in he's Rainbow jersey amongst us. But hang on, one Rainbow jersey.......two Rainbow jersey's......three Rainbow Jersey's.....three Rainbow jerseys are in my race! Slightly confused, do we have three current age category World Champions here or three guys that have been World Champions?  Never mind, I'm racing with three guys that are or have been World Champions, I guess that's a top three out of the question then. On top of that throw in a few guys with international experience and I think you could call that having the ante well and truly upped.
I get a second row gridding, the others are right behind me. This seasons starts are far quicker, as in the organisers don't have you hanging about. The first key words I hear are 'you'll get the whistle in 15 seconds'. No countdown or anything fancy like that. Whistle, tear off, second foot in and hustle for the corner just metres away. It's a very tight corner that won't be used for the rest of the race, give absolutely no quarter here. Off down the only straight, a baked hard affair that you have to go hard on, your bike bounces about, but it won't break. You then hit the first climb, nice it is and topped by a bend with a hurdle thrown in. From now on we'll go up and down, straights or 'the' straight will give way to tight turns, 180's, steps and wicked off camber twisty descents.
About a third into the first lap Miles passes me, and a glance back lets me know Kevin isn't far behind. When this happens to me in a race I have to assess. Are they strong today or am I weak? are they simply being hot headed? Whatever you don't panic. Miles soon fades and I regain the LBRCC lead, Kevin however is staying at a relatively consistent distance behind. I've assessed and decided how I'll race. It's going to be about getting it right at every twist and turn. And I'll tempo up every little climb. Only the short bumpy straight and short tarmac section before the loamy climb will get my full attention. After two laps my plan has worked, the only thing I need to check on is Darren's race as he's gone past Kevin and is now the closest LBRCC rider to me. However Darren will have to do the chasing. And to make he's life harder the course is drying and my lines are getting better each lap.
Steady on the climb, coached by Keith!

I manage to keep the LBRCC lead. And soon the Rainbow jersey passes me to mark the dying seconds of the race. I go under the chequered flag feeling chuffed. Darren, Kevin, Steve and Miles come in. Darren is going to gunning for me next week.

So to seniors. Ross and Mitchell are head to head. With nowhere on this course for Mitchell to stretch his legs he is going to have a hard time keeping up with Ross, whom for 2015 it's been all about the hills. During the course of the early laps they stay fairly close to each other, but then the constant ascending takes it's toll. Ross opens up and Mitchell starts to labour, he's track style position not looking at home on the grassy slopes. It stays at about 30 seconds +/- a few. Then to my surprise Mitchell is back on Ross's wheel. It's clear though that Ross has slowed, and in fact looks in trouble. Mitchell passes and Ross actually seizes with cramp. Race on!. They disappear and we wait to see who comes out of the tree line first, it's Ross.  Ross has recovered and Mitchell can't produce another effort. Ross takes LBRCC honours.

A good finish to the days racing for the LBRCC riders. So everyone pack up and go home.

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