Saturday 12th March saw Rhys, Alex, Clem and I all head down to Hog Hill for the 'March Hare' race. You can read more about the history of the event on London Cycle Sport. With a 3.15 start I tried to get a lie in and enjoy a quiet morning however the nervous energy woke me pretty early and I was restless for most of the morning. We rode to Hog Hill around 2 O'clock, the legs didnt feel great and I was really nervous about my first Elite, 1 and 2 cat race of the year.
The race went away from the line at a decent lick and it was quickly evident that the six riders from the Pasta Montegrappa - Zheroquadro team were going to have a big influence on the result. That said with four Cycling Club Hackney riders on the start line I was confident we could try something too. After two or three laps a small group was slightly off the front of the main bunch coming into the hill, I was sat second wheel as the man on the front rode us back on. Just before we came into contact I attacked through the gap between the two groups, switching to the other side of the tarmac before giving it everything I had through the corner. I kicked a little more then pulled across too see Rhys and one other rider on my wheel, Rhys stuck it in the 11 sprocket and we smashed it down the hill (or in my case span like mad on my youth gear restrictions). I looked back and could not quiet believe the gap we had amassed. From then on the heads went down and the work was put in.
At first I think Rhys and I were really pleased to be in a strong break, another Pasta rider came across and that made it two and two, a strange combination that ended up working pretty well. We kept the group very quick and soon had a huge gap, instead of relaxing the group just kept on going and by the mid way point of the race had a huge lead. Rhys had one period were he really had to fight to stay in contention but after that it was more a case of riding into the last ten laps than staying away.
With four laps too go one of the other team put in a big dig on the hill, I knew I had to react immediately in order too stay with him. I jumped onto his wheel and pushed through the pain over the crest of the hill. We then rode too the finish, Rhys getting back into the break with about 2 laps to go and putting in a really big turn in the last lap. He then left me to finish it off, which thankfully I just about managed to after all the work he had done! It was a great feeling to win as I really wasnt expecting it coming into the race, a huge thanks to Rhys and everyone that was at the race supporting me! Also thankyou to London Cycle Sport for the awesome pictures.