It’s a UCI Lottery
Having missed out on Danum Trophy due to my crash injury, and waiting for the repair of my race bike, all in all it was nearly 2 weeks off the bike recovering. A week after the Peaks 2 Day, the road rash was healing and the concussion subsided but I still had pain in my lower back and thought I may have damaged my pelvis. A trip to A&E was recommended but thankfully it was confirmed that nothing was broken, so I was back to physio to get things in order. Thanks to Matt Thompson who helped to loosen some of the tight and damaged muscles around my lower back and things started to feel better.
Getting back on the road as soon as possible and training to make up time took a lot of help and support from a lot of people... coach Craig, physio Matt, team boss Dave, doctors and of course my parents.
The bike was basically a new bike, Dave and the team at Moda were brilliant in supplying a new frame and helping me get back on the road as soon as possible. I also had excellent support and help from the team at Target composites who scanned and checked the crashed bike and rebuilt it really quickly on the new frame to help me get back to racing. Everyone was first class and super helpful. Also the team at Kali protectives and Oxford Products were great and supplied a new crash replacement.
Timmy James Memorial RR
The Timmy James Memorial road race was my first race back following my crash at Peaks 2 Day
We only had a team of 3 in the race. Jimmy and myself got away in the break with about 20 riders from which Jimmy escaped again (and would go on to win) with 2 others and they pulled out a lead of about a minute or so.
Towards the end of race I tried to bridge across to a move up the road from the large break but didn’t want to take anyone with me. I was either racing for 7th place or I could try for 4th since the 3 up the road were long gone. I ended up going all in attacking, trying to get across solo but I was caught and ended up spent, going out the back and finished down the field. I made my choices and tried. That’s racing!
PB Performance U23
In last years U23 series I was 3rd overall in the series and was looking to do really well in this race for the overall series. The race was excellent for us as a team. I would say it’s the best we have ever raced collectively and we were all over it. The guys got in every break and at one point we had 3 in a promising move of about 8 guys. Everything was getting brought back until 20km when I went solo following the fast downhill. I was joined after 10 mins by around 10 others and it stuck until the finish.
The last km was an effort up a steep incline followed by a long false flat drag, one that I felt suited me. I felt good, but I was out of position turning on to the finish straight and got boxed in so had to slow down to move out to start my sprint. I ended up in 5th which was disappointing but it was great to feel the legs were back and the potential was there.
I went in to Cicle hopeful things would go well but knowing this race is a complete lottery as to whether you finish or not and anything can happen. Last year was a dry race and I got a top 20 so you always think you are due a better result the next time out.
This year was a wet and muddy affair more like a cyclocross race which presented an extra challenge. I was decently positioned in the front group but did make life hard for myself on occasion having to chase on after sectors. After 125km, coming in to the feed for the third and final time I was just taking a drink to empty a bottle and the rider in front of me went down on the slippery surface and I had nowhere to go but over the top of him.
I was about 45s off the main front group after remounting but I was on my own, stuck in the cars on narrow roads and couldn't regain contact.
Once the roads widened, I managed to catch a second group that had been separated from the main front group but on first time through Staple Park, at 150km, I punctured and there was no service. With no choices left I ended up walking my bike until the broom came through and swept me up!
To go from the front group with good legs and in contention for a good finish to being out the back and in the broom wagon for a DNF in the space of a few km is deeply frustrating but that is how this race goes. It’s insane, incredible fun but so unpredictable.
Jimmy bagged the best result of his and the teams career with 3rd. An amazing result for Jimmy and the team, that lifted the spirits somewhat.
So I'm finishing April knowing I have the legs to be at the front of a race of this standard and was feeling good in the front group in those conditions.
Whilst writing this, I was expecting to attend Eschborn-Frankfurt UCI 1.2U in Germany but I have been taken out by norovirus and decided that I couldn't go. Not only am I in no fit state to ride but also I can't risk infecting the other guys on the trip. This is another bit to add to the string of bad luck I've been having recently and I'll be off the bike for a while but it'll turn around.
Yorkshire U23 National Series Round 2 - 7th May
Lincoln GP - 14th May
Ras Tailteann - 17th-21st