Saturday the 31st saw the second round of the Eagle RC criterium races at Hog Hill, my first race of the year at the Redbridge circuit. I was riding in the senior elite, first and second category race, with about 25 or 30 starters.
The aim for the day was to get myself a nice (day late) birthday present win, celebrating my seventeenth the day before. Turning up to the circuit I felt ok, looking forward to racing at the circuit after the longer road races I have ridden so far this year. It was pretty windy on the day and the bunch was always looking like it was going to split. I had my eye on a few riders and when two riders got a sizeable gab I jumped across with the elite GS Gruppetto rider Nic Huchings. I felt pretty strong on the climb, aided by a nice tailwind, and once across to the break continued to push on untill we had a nice lead on the now splintered bunch.
With an hour gone the lapboard came up to show five laps of the two kilometer circuit to go, I waited until three laps to go an then made my move up the climb. At first I held a gap of a few hundred meters at the most, however pressing on for the next few laps in turned in a nice enough lead that I had time to zip up my jersey and enjoy the win the last time up the climb. Was a good way to start the Easter holidays and with this being my last race before Roubaix I was very pleased with the end result.
An added circuit on the way home made sure my legs where suitably tired by the end of the day, followed by a lovely ride in the sun with James Fairbank from Rapha on Sunday. I will try and post something after the reconnaissance of the course next Saturday, however it will depend if we have Internet in our hotel or not!
Bridging across to the lead group.
Up the climb in the lead group.
Taking the win!
Thanks to LondonCycleSport for the photos and video, see their full report here.