North Bucks LVRC road race

AM. Cycle 84km, inc. North Bucks LVRC “Andy Hardy Memorial” Road Race 

10km w/u
Race 67km/1:52:25 (35.7km/h) HR 147(174) 494m ascent. Placing: 9th or 10th
9½ km laps:
1.  17:05  (33.1 km/h) __ HR143(165) 
2.  15:52  (36.3 km/h) __ HR150(169) 
3.  14:55  (38.6 km/h) __ HR153(172) 
4.  16:50  (34.2 km/h) __ HR140(174) 
5.  15:46  (36.5 km/h) __ HR152(169) 
6.  16:06  (35.7 km/h) __ HR144(165) 
7.  15:49  (36.3 km/h) __ HR146(173) 
7½km w/d

Another breezy cold morning. Riding over to the start from the A5 Rangers clubhouse (I said hello to Steve Abraham, the mega-audaxer there – he was helping with the marshalling today), I wore a gilet to keep out the cold wind. Lining up for the start of the AB race, not many riders had been keen enough to get out this morning, and those that were there looked fit and eager. I contented myself with handing about in the middle of the bunch, getting used to the circuit. To be honest I wasn’t feeling all that competitive.

It all went a bit mad halfway round the second lap – two riders clipped off the front, and then another two (including Aaron McCaffrey, a strong local rider). They became a breakaway of four, but never got more than 30 seconds up the road – we could see them struggling into the wind on the long straights at the back of the circuit.

On the 3rd lap Roy Chamberlain decided he’d had enough of Aaron being up the road and did virtually the whole lap on the front, while the rest of us gritted our teeth in his slipstream. Strewth!

It all came back together and then we had a couple of quiet laps before Roy burst off the front, shortly followed by Aaron. We kept them in sight, and I engaged in a bit of through-and-off to keep the gap honest, but on the home stretch of the circuit the roads were so tight it was difficult to get much of a paceline going and they got clean away, to contest the win.

Coming into the last lap, I noticed I wasn’t getting as tired as my companions in the bunch, and kept myself up nearer the front. I managed to get into the little bunch that was sprinting up the final climb for 3rd, but got caught on the wheel of a guy who suddenly sat up with cramp, ugh! By the time I’d got around him I was just off the back and I think I managed to gather up some speed for 9th place.