GS Vecchi Spring Classic RR

Finally my first race of the season had arrived and it was time to see if the training I had been doing was actually working. I must admit that given some indifferent TT results I was beginning to wonder if I had missed something.

We got there nice and early too early as it turned out some Muppet (ME) had the time wrong, not to worry this gave me time to go and look at the hill up to the finish. I learnt two things:

1. my cassette is indeed a little knackered

2. the time in France has given me a little confidence as although it hit 11% I didn’t need to stand up at all.

So the race itself had about 60 riders in it from classes A and B and we set off in a nice big group around the narrow roads. I dropped myself into the middle of the pack and was pretty comfy. I only had one concern in the early part and that was how would I move forward later as the roads were either narrow or had solid white lines on them. Having not checked the entire route(schoolboy error) I got a shock as we turned left onto a rather stiff short climb and stamped in the wrong gear flipped the chain and shot straight out the back. Took me a little time to ride my way back but by the foot of the Finish climb I was back with everyone and much to my surprise and happiness I not only stayed in I went past people up the climb. As we rode past Rach I was comfy on the back, a lap later a smaller peloton went through and I was still on the back. (Afterwards Rach told me she was concerned when I went through at the back again) I was just chilling out having decided for 2013 not to be on the front being used. Completing lap 3 I suddenly found myself moving easily off the top of the hill and drifted to near the front of the bunch and as I past Rach starting lap4 I was the man on the front. From here I never really dropped back too far and just spent the lap drifting through and taking turns on the front as and when. Up the climb and out onto the final lap and again I was leading the bunch. Quite nice here when you feel good as you just ride how you want and nobody wants to do too much as they try to hold back for the sprint. About a quarter of the way round the lap there was a long fast section and finding myself out front with a gap I had a go here. Over the next few miles I was caught by 1 then another rider and before long we were back together. No stress at least I had tried. Still though nobody really wanted to lead so a few of us were able to sit on the front. There were a few little digs up the sharp climb which I largely stayed with and with 2 miles to go we were all together (apart from the 2 up the road). Chap from NHRC had a dig and nobody chased so myself and number 56 just set a steady tempo towards the base of the climb occasionally changing places. Into the climb we were pretty bunched and it was pick your wheel. I was right there but as we crested the top the real sprinters kicked and I was gapped. Working hard all the way to the line. 3rd A and 11th overall.

Finally proof that the training has been good.

Now to see if I have a ride next Sunday


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