May 27, 2011
A typical Portreath day greeted the riders. Strong winds and a light drizzle when we arrived seemed to turn into stronger winds and a down pour while everyone took cover in the car with the heaters on full blast. The rain went away and the clouds seemed to disappear and the sun was shining. The fans were still blowing though.
The race was 50 mins plus a lap and what was unusual for me at this Portreath was that the strong wind was not blowing in the faces of the riders along the top, it was a tailwind, and the headwind section made the climb harder than it normally is.
The race started and no attacks happened for a while, but on the first time round the far tight right hand corner I found myself off the back after going straight on. After catching up to the bunch again Satch and Toby (Adeo Cadence) had chipped off the front of the bunch and had a small gap. This was pulled back into the headwind section. A lot of people were then trying to attack but never really getting anywhere until Toby had another dig off the front after about 15 minutes of racing coming out of the sharp right hand corner into the headwind. I was on his wheel so followed. A really strong turn on the front to the foot of the climb had opened up a gap to the bunch and the two of us were away.
Equal turns were shared for the next three laps until we saw three more riders coming across. One of Primal Europe/RUTT/BCR main sponsors, and master of the bike fit Paul from Ride (If you haven’t been for a bike fit, Well worth it and can’t recommend it enough) Mark Dolan and Scott Tomkinson. I had mixed emotions about seeing these come across, on one hand I was happy because a two up in that wind was making it hurt, A LOT! But two of the guys coming across would wipe the floor with me in a sprint if it was going to come down to it. Anyways, the junction was made and the 5 of us set about making the gap to the bunch bigger, which we did. Working well together with the wind and shorter turns into the wind the gap kept growing.
Once it was certain the winner was coming from the group a little cat and mouse started to happen, and it was difficult to tell if people were blowing or bluffing. Going into the foot of the climb for the penultimate time, Paul had a dig off the front and I responded by going up the right hand side, not much of a gap had opened and once in the tailwind we were all back together. I was on the front and had another dig which Scott Tomkinson pulled back. Toby attacked into the sharp corner but this again was pulled back.
The fears had come true, nobody could shake anybody and it was down to the dreaded sprint. (Or loved if you can do it) It seemed everybody had the same idea and opened up on the descent into the foot of the climb and it was everyman for himself. Scott took the spoils with Mark Dolan claiming second and Toby taking the final podium spot. I was 4th and Paul took 5th. Good riding in the break. Disappointing to not make a better result of it, it’s not very often you get the chance from a small break.
Positives: It was more saddle time, the legs felt good (Big thanks to Julie for squeezing me in for the massage the day before) and it could have been worse, I could have missed the break.
Negatives: Must learn to put more power through the pedals or else it’s never going to happen!!