Hillingdon 4th Feb

Last night I raced at Hillingdon in the E123, with a good turnout and some strong wind it was guaranteed to be a good nights racing. The sun was shining however the wind was absolutely freezing so with my new Cycling Club Hackney arm warmers on I was ready to go. Mr Jake Martin of Pendragon was his ever present self in the Peloton, along with Dante Carpenter of Asfra Racing and Tony Gibb a previous Commonwealth Games Medalist, to name a few. Germain Burton the current Youth National Champion was also riding, I think its fair to say we had our eyes on one another, especially in the early part of the race, watching eachothers form ahead of this Saturdays National Series event at Hillingdon.

After a few early attacks Jake put in a big one and took a London Dynamo rider with him, Dante and another rider then bridges across. I was eager not too waste energy in putting in a big move, waiting for someone else to jump on it and aware the first break of the day normally doesnt stick at Hillingdon. However this is a circuit that punishes those who wait, any break can stick and once it has a gap, with no real obstacles to slow a group up on course, they can often stick. They soon had a huge gap and worryingly I couldnt even see them on the other parts of the course, however I knew there was still a race to be ridden and set about trying to get of the front of the bunch. Once a move has gone it makes it even harder to attack, with people in the bunch now aware something has gone and not letting anything else slip. That said I did get off the front quiet a few times, once on my own and in various other moves, however with the strong wind and a seemingly huge gap to pull back no one wanted to really commit and it kept coming back together. My recovery felt good and when I saw Gibb, an Aw Cycles rider and a Felt Carbones elite come flying past at warp speed I knew I needed to get on it. I pushed really hard into the wind and came onto the wheel with Dani Santoni of Montegrappa Pasta coming across just after, there was a moments hesitation but we soon pressed on and the bunch was out of sight. I was still predicting us racing four fifth but the Locomotive Train I was travelling and contributing to had other ideas, Gibb in particular put in some huge turns into the wind and before long we could see the riders up ahead. A lap later and we had caught them, taking three laps to go next time around, after about fifty minutes of racing, I was prepared for the finish. Three quarters of a lap to go I saw a hesitation and attacked, however with so many riders in the group, nine in total, there wasnt much chance for a long one, so I sat up and tried to get on the best wheel for the sprint. Coming into a full on headwind sprint I was placed perfectly on Jake Martins wheel, however as it wound up I simply ran out of gears and power and never really made an impression, coming in a not too shabby sixth place. I was pleased to have managed to make the front of the race, and with my recovery after riding very very aggressively, especially in the early parts of the race. However knew I could have done better in the sprint. Another sixth place after last weekends events on the Rock in the Irish sea, however this time I was slightly more pleased!