This week...

Due to Palace being called off on Tuesday because of the Motorbike Racing it was off to Hillingdon for my mid week fix of hard racing. After an hour or so wait at the course everyone started to turn up ( I have to be on the Overground train to Acton Central before 4.30 due to rush hour so often end up at the circuit very early!) I took on my first E123 race and was quietly confident of a decent placing, my confidence grew when at the start line we realised It was the smallest turnout all season. After abotu half the race I found myself in a break of four riders, two elites and two youths (my friend Dante). I found the turns into the wind hard but was keeping a steady pace and not getting to ahead of myself. After a while a couple more came across and I thought the break might go the whole way. However we where caught with about ten laps to go, I sat near the front for a while covering every move, suprised about how good my legs felt, then somehow managed to find myself mid field just as the break went. With 5 to go the three men where well clear so I started to set myself up for the bunch sprint. Around the last corner I felt the back wheel twitching then starting to slide out so slowed down and looked down, flat. Just my luck! First puncture in a race for quite some time!

Before the race I had arranged to go afterwards and stay with Dante in Dorking for a couple of days, he promised very good roads and good food and I got exactly that! The Surrey Hills lay ahead for a perfect 75 Miler on the Wednesday, with some of the best sunshine I have seen in a while!

Training with Dante Carpenter, One Life Development Squad.

Then this weekend it was time for my second Interclub of the year in Belgium. Interclubs are the top Nieuwelingen (Youth Un16) races in Belgium. This one was situated near the French/Belgian border in the town of Koksijde, the course was very fast and flat with one hill over the sand dunes. Again I was surprised with how slow a majority of the riders where over the hill and found myself taking lots of places. Sat in the bunch with 2 laps to go and about 12 men up the road I was feeling confident of a very good placing and planning an attack. However just before the line with 2 to go I punctured and the race was over, after a quick change with the support car I crossed the line about 500 meters from the group and chasing hard. However I was pulled from the race and finished very disappointed. Possibly the worst feeling to end a race with so much energy left in the legs!
Jonathon Dibben the captain of the team ended up winning the race by 13 seconds, a very good piece of riding that inspired me (the only 1st year under 16 on the team) to come back next year and try and do just as well!

Spent a while in Condor today getting a new stem (Deda Zero 100) and some compression socks (Skins A400) reviews to follow on both... Now I had better get on with some history revision!