Not a Busy Month
It’s been a quiet month this month on the racing front with only a couple of races. From the start of August I had a short break after the Manx International Stage Race and then got a good couple of weeks of training in before Ryedale GP.
Ryedale Nat A
With the legs back I was looking forward to getting stuck in at the penultimate Nat A of the season. Preparations and training had been going well and the legs felt like they were back. Things were going well for the first hour or so and I was well positioned up towards the front of the bunch watching to see what moves went and if it was worth joining any. I created a move on the first lap through carrying my momentum up a small kicker which dragged 6 of us clear however I dropped back from the move since we weren't getting away from the peloton after about 10 minutes.
I then started to develop stomach problems after the first hour which hampered my eating and drinking for the next 3 hours. I still managed to bridge across to the front move after about 1:30 but couldn't go with the final selections and started swinging off the back a bit in the final hour.
Towards the end of the race, on the second to last lap, my lack of eating and drinking started to catch up with me and I was getting dropped out the back of the group on the long climb. The team car came up to check on me and I grabbed what might have been quite a sticky bottle. Having made it over the hill, I then chased on for another lap and clawed my way back on to the group part way round the final lap as I'd started to come round a bit. The final sprint to the line is a punchy uphill sprint and I managed to produce a good sprint to finish 11th overall and winning the group kick which would have been my best Nat A finish. Unfortunately the incident with the sticky bottle was filmed by another team car in the convoy and reported to the comms who DQ’d and fined me and the team.
I have no problem with this as it’s a lesson learnt and all part of learning how to race but when you look at other such incidents that happen in the race it does make you wonder sometimes why certain things are picked up on and others are not.
I figured out what the root cause of the stomach issues that caused me so much discomfort during the race was and have made the necessary changes to prevent this happening again.
U23 National Series - South West
I was looking to put in a good performance at this given what happened at Ryedale GP.
The race was raced more like a Nat B and was somewhat chaotic. I stayed up the front out of trouble the whole race so I was happy with my positioning. I tried all day to get in promising moves and get up the road but every time I tried, I was chased down. Well done to the Welsh team who had a man in every move and rode the race pretty much perfectly covering everything that went.
In the end I came in 9th but due to consistent finishes the good news I’m now second overall in the series with one race in the series remaining.
As I write this I’m with the team in Italy at Giro Friuli del Venezia Giulia UCI 2.2 which is a race I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while.
The race starts tomorrow, 1st September, with a 20km TTT followed by 3 hard stages with the second road stage finishing up the Monte Zoncolan. It will be great to race up one of the most demanding climbs in cycling.
More on how the Italy went and how the overall in the U23 series goes next blog.