Jun 11, 2012
On the 20th May it was the Regional Championships in the South of England. Also from the Primal Europe team in this region was Martin Smith and Wayne Coombs. A few of the usual people in the race had gone to do the An Post Ras, but it was still a very strong field. The race was 91 miles; 7 laps of a very hilly 13 mile circuit which finished up a 1 mile steady climb.
The race started off very slowly as most riders knew the circuit and how tough it was. On the second lap it was all pretty much together so I put in a slight attack on the bottom of the climb to the finish. I ended up pulling out a minute on my own which left me just pacing tempo for 8 miles until I was caught. This split the race lots but it all came back together and seemed to kick of the race as several attacks started; between the 3 of us we were covering all of them. Eventually a 4 man break got away with Martin being one of them, but 1 lap later the break was caught. At this point we knew it would be hard for a break to stay away in the tough conditions. Each lap about 10 riders would get dropped and then before we knew it there were only about 30 left in the race.
After several more attacks and a lot of the favourites marking each other, a break finally got away. Of the 5 riders the main threat being Will Bjergfelt. All of a sudden the riders stopped chasing and it looked to be race over. Several attacks from Wayne to try and get across wore the riders down. Coming up the hill for the last lap Colin Parry attacked, taking me, George Harper and Toby Eichler with him. With 10 miles to go we were all working hard and being told the gap was now 2 minutes. Colin put a big push in on one of the hills and this dropped George and Toby leaving Colin and me to close a near impossible gap. With about 2 miles to go we gradually crossed to the break and it was to be a 7 man sprint up the hill. I had been very active in the race and hadn’t quite had enough time to recover from my big effort, so I suffered on the climb and had to settle for 5th. Will Bjergfelt took a very deserved victory with Colin coming a close second.
I was happy with 5th but I wish I’d had a bit more time to recover after getting across to break, although most people couldn’t believe we managed to get across in the first place! It was a good team effort and a good day out.