The joy of racing

I’m watching the Tour of California and it has got to be the most boring TV ever. Imagine live coverage of grass growing….. The country side could not be more plain, the roads are dead straight and the bunch is just cruising along. They should have filmed us at Goodwood. .We had a great time.

The race was a scratchy-cap. Primes were up for grabs but we had to catch the women first before we could go for points. By my standards some of these girls are really very good: tough, fast and savvy racers. I think that it took three laps to catch them then we could go for our first sprint. I’m sure that I got 2 second places and 2 fourths (fourths don’t count but they are reminders that I need to ride smarter). It’s an odd thing but I can’t really remember the sprints.

Once the good guys caught us the speed really went up then they pulled away and we were left to contest our own race within a race. It was hard and fast and I got involved in a few chases and tested my legs at the front a few times. It’s an odd feeling at the front as you grind away staining with the weight of the whole bunch dragging on your rear wheel. The race was a lot of fun and as I am starting to get fitter and stronger. I could enjoy the sensation of pushing to and past the limit and then recovering for another go. Ever since I was thirteen when I first contested an XC run at school I have been fascinated by what you can get your body to do. It helps to be fit but it really is wonderful to play around seeing just what you can do. At one point I chased a break with one of the girls, we picked up a rider and the three of us could try to bridge the gap to the break that had got away. I was on the limit but knew that with just a few seconds off max I’d recover so I hit the front for a short stint and was so concerned not to up set our rhythm that I kept an eye on wheel behind and as I pulled aside to let him through I didn’t see the bend in the road and went straight across the grass a la Armstrong. What a dork? That blew any chance to get away.

I didn’t look at the board until we had 5 laps to go, I needed to concentrate as all of a sudden we’d hear the bell for the last lap when I’d need to hide out of the wind to save some energy for the final sprint. I’ve no idea how, but I was up front again as we rounded the bend for the last straight with Glyn on my wheel, I kept gesturing for him to come through but he was too smart so with no chance of surviving I buried myself hoping that he’d make it in the sprint (he got 2nd). Once you’ve been left by the good guys you might as well get the most out of the ride. Glyn’s the  owner of Blazing Saddles.

I had a great evening, no crashes and the final 5km of the Tour of California ended up being amazing once the Sky Train got moving. Two stage wins on the trot for Sky. Rule Britannia.

Here’s the ride/race

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