The race did not set off very quickly, but when we hit the main climb (Edgehill), half way around the circuit, the peleton started breaking up a bit. I went over with the lead group, but it all came together at the top of the climb. A two man break (Dion Black of Kenilworth Wheelers and Gunther Zechmann of Zappi’s Cycling Club) had got clear early on and the peleton just left them to it. Rob Jones (Army Cycling) had a go with another rider after the first climb, but the main bunch pulled them back without giving them much of a gap.
The second time over the climb I did not try to get over with the first group, but just made sure I stayed in contact with them, as I was pretty sure it would come together again and did not want to waste energy. Sure enough the peleton reformed for the third and final lap, although the two man break was still up the road.
The final ascent of Edgehill had me digging deep to stay with the front of the peleton, and then it was a dash down to the bottom of the small steep hill we had to sprint up to the finish line. I fought to keep a position inside of the top ten on the technical descent, but when the road when up and the sprint started I found myself blocked by two riders who's legs seemed to have stopped working. I even had to brake before accelerating around them. I was incredibly frustrated after doing everything right to be in a good position. Fortunately Ryan Perry (Army Cycling) belted up the hill, starting his sprint early and pretty much riding everybody off his wheel. He took third on the day, which was a good result for the Army team. Dion Black of Kenilworth Wheelers took the win and and Gunther Zechmann of Zappi’s Cycling Club was second.
I ended 15th, which was disappointing, but at the same time I was happy with how I rode the race.
I've also done two Ludgershall crits since my last post. Last week I was 6th in the 3/4Cat race and then went on to ride the E123 race for a bit of extra race training. This was a good confidence builder as I managed a few laps out front on my own, but I was knackered by the end and had nothing left for the bunch sprint.
I've now got 29 points in 3rd Cat, so 11 to go for my 2nd Cat licence.