North Wales Road Race Series – Race 1 Report

#chronomaster  #iamspecialized @Specialized_UK @LLBikes @OTESportsGB @VO2sportswear

With billy still suffering an abcess and Ste recovering from his hip replacement, it was Kris sole representing the team in North Wales.

Conditions were pretty interesting with gale force winds howling through the valleys near Denbigh. This was going to be a hard race.

From the off we were neutralised as the tail end of a christening meant the first 2km was littered with cars, but even at NZ pace, the bunch was struggling to keep it together. You know it’s gonna be fun when echelons form as we are rolling out!
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Not long after the flag, the pace sped up. I was at the back and could already see splits forming, so moved up as fast as I could. As I got to the front line-out, a move went. I sat in waiting for the inevitable chase and counter, which happened as expected. I jumped on the counter and 4 of us were away. By the end of the first lap we were 3, and half a lap later we were 6. All strong riders, and after a short while we all settled into a rhythm.

As the race progressed, so did the wind. At times we were riding full gas at 11mph into the wind, and the crosswinds on the downhill were very nervy. But the thought of how things must be I’m the bunch (a nightmare) kept us motivated.
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By the last lap we had built a 5min+ lead over the chase, and the attacks started. But we were still together in the closing miles. Three riders looked clearly spent, one looked fresh, and the main threat Steve Fidler was tucked in.

In the worst bit of crosswind, as we neared the descent, I jumped and went long. I still had the result of the Lach Dennis race in the back of my mind, and not wanting end up in a bunch sprint, I gave it everything – on fast tiring legs. Dan and myself got a gap of maybe 100 yards and as we entered the climb to the finish, I could see Steve chasing us down.

I got jumped by Dan Evans, and was chasing down the line for 2nd. But Steve came out of nowhere to beat me by 1/2 wheel.
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3rd place, and two primes. I was gutted to not get a better result, but still pleased with my form as I worked hard all race. I just really need to work on my sprint, and my final 5km strategy.

Final result from our break:

1st – Dan Evans – Cannondale Racing
2nd – Steve Fidler – Dave Hinde Racing
3rd – Kris Zentek – Team Chronomaster / Leisure Lakes Bikes
4th -Edward Roberts – Team Elite
5th – Chris Quin – Macclesfield Wheelers
6th – Ben Joughlin – Pro Vision Cycle Clothing

Watching the remains of the race roll in, the huge gaps told a tale of how hard it had been.  Even as I rolled back into the HQ 20 mins later, there were still riders on the course. Kudos for sticking at it!

I’d like to say a big thank you to the organisers, Marshalls and NEG support for making the race safe and incident free for us all, and the folks back at HQ for the amazing post race spread. I have never seen slices of cake so big!! Yum!

Thanks as always to Paul Best for allowing us to share his awesome photo’s with you all.

Check out this flyby summary of today’s race, from Strava Labs.

Kris.

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