Sunday was my first British national series round of the year after missing the first two at Roubaix and Istria. On a new course run by the Loughborough University, it was looking like an exciting days racing.
The race, five laps of a rectangular shaped circuit, with one long increasingly steep climb up to the finish line every lap, was a good one for me and with the combination of some very strong wind and aggressive riding throughout, saw the race split to smitherines.
On the first lap a big move went, a dangerous one, however I stayed attentive and the next time up the climb the bunch split in half, our group riding away and eventually joining up with the ten or so guys up the road. From there it was a small war of attrition, the lead group shelling riders everytime up the climb until there was only about ten of us left. On the last lap I gave a few digs, trying to distance the others, however a strong work ethic in the group behind ensured they caught me a few kilometers later.
Eventually, with a horrendous headwind on the back straight, it all came down to the last time up the climb. Coming into it Chris, Scott and Joe Evans, all from the ODP, attacked. The gap grew to about one hundred meters however coming into the climb I knew I could stick it in the gutter and, with the help of the raging crosswind, go for it.
This was pretty much what I did, catching the group and then attacking up the steepest park of the climb, having enough time to enjoy the last few hundred meters and savour the victory.
Later today we fly off to the Czech Republic for Course De La Paix, a four day, five stage race that I really enjoyed last year, despite how hard it is! Fingers crossed the week brings some more success for GB...
Report from Loughborough here on BC Website. Apologies for the brief and bland report, lots of packing and work to do! Flights to catch... Thanks to Guy Swarbrich and Luis Oliveira for the photos.