Mid Season Update
The start of this month was the third week I'd had off the bike due to a knee injury carried over from mid June so when getting back on the bike I was feeling rough to say the least. To add to this, while injured I'd had a viral infection which knocked me back a bit further as well. With one weeks training completed and feeling positively awful the next race for me was the Barnsley 'Not in the Town Centre' Road Race on the 18th July. This was held on the same Upper Denby course that I did well on in the early season Big Dogs RR at the end of May so I knew the course was good for me. However given the situation it was more mission: get round instead of trying to get a result. On the day it was super hot and a very attritional race; it split almost immediately during the first lap and came back together but by the hour mark a front group and a chase group had formed ahead of the peloton. I wasn't planning on getting in these moves because after 40 mins my legs were gone and I could just watch people go up the road. It was good to see Ewan Mackie back from Spain and racing in the UK for a bit, we even got in a short-lived 2-up but quickly realised that we weren't getting away. After 2 hours at the top of the course a tough crosswind section spelled the end of the race for me as I couldn't hold the wheel any longer, this was disappointing but nothing else I could've expected from a first race back really. Was good to see Matt do well though coming in in the front group for 11th.
On to my first Nat A crit at Ilkley the following Friday. I didn't know what to expect again from this race but wanted to race smart and stay in contact. The first 10 minutes were flat out and I just couldn't move up when the opportunities presented themselves thanks to being on the limit which was irritating because all I could think about was had I had normal legs I would've been able to get up near the front as there was plenty of room over the top of the hill. I ended up in the third group which was not driving the pace very hard at all and made the race frustrating and virtually impossible to gain any ground on the groups ahead. This race showed me that there's still work to do in order to get my legs back to where they were early season.
This week I had my second covid jab which took me out for another 3 days of training but at least it's done now and all potential hazards that could cause time off the bike between now and the end of the season are behind me so it's all back on track to get back to top form.
Coming up next is a double race weekend this Saturday and Sunday at the Crown Cup RR at Pimbo and Upton CC RR in Upton.
Next month the first two rounds of the National Road Series are on in Lancaster and Ryedale where it would be good to come away with a result but we'll have to see how the legs are returning and at what rate. At the end of the month is the first stage race of the year with the team at the VE day memorial race containing 5 stages in 3 day with a hilly TT, a TTT and 3 road stages.