Last weekend saw the first round of the British National Series 2012, the Cadence road race. I was both nervous and excited coming into the race, looking to asses my form against the best juniors in Britain for the first time this year. After a brief touch down at Common Farm (thanks Maggie and Arthur!) in Hereford on Saturday night, Mum and I soon found ourselves on the way to the Three Cocks circuit in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The race was run over seven laps of a rolling circuit fifteen kilometers in length, with a good km climb up to the finish line each lap. After a motivational talk from Mum and some last minute adjustments in respect to the undecided weather, it was race time.
The race started out very nervously, and at a good pace, with a break going in the first few kilometers of the race. I was feeling pretty awful, lurking around three quarters of the way back in the eighty man bunch, still suffering a little from the crash in Belgium the previous weekend and generally feeling pretty rubbish! However as the laps went on I started to perk up and got my teeth into the race, although it may have been to late to actually make anything of the race by this point, with a four man group enjoying a three and half minute gap on the bunch. I stayed calm and tried not to panic, fingers crossed it would come back in some description or another.
A few riders were getting very heavily marked, Jon Dibben in particular, making it pretty hard to escape the clutches of the bunch. However with two and a half laps to go I made my move, riding across to Sam Lowe and Chris Latham, with another rider Jake Alderman on my wheel. By this point atleast twelve riders where up the road, so we pressed the gas on and caught the lead group within about a lap. They where pretty much riding club run pace upon our arrival at the front, with some of the guys having been at the front of the race all day, it was hardly surprising.
Bridging across to the lead group.
Attacking with one lap to go.
Coming into the finish line with one lap to go I attacked up the climb,
catching a rider just up the road and then pressing on on my own. For a
few kilometers the lead group hovered just over my shoulder, however
once we reached the twisty lanes on the back of the circuit I started to
pull a bit of a lead. With about half a lap to go the lead motorbike
informed me that Dibben was twelve seconds back on his own. This
provided me with all the motivation I needed and I eventually crawled
over the line to win my first ever British national level race! I was
more exhausted than anything else at the end, still not really believing
I had won. It felt great after it had sunk in.
Video from Welsh cycling. Huge thanks to the all the officials and organisers again for a great race. Copyright of all images - Guy Swarbrick.
Onwards and upwards with a race at Hog Hill this weekend followed by Paris Roubaix next weekend!