By Adam Baines
Friday night saw the resurrection of the Clitheroe GP and what a success it proved to be! I came to the race feeling pretty nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to put in because of the Divs the next day. Anyway I decided on the tactic of go as hard as I can from the start and see who comes with me.
When I signed on, I checked out the names of the others racing and realised there were a lot of strong lads; I wasn’t quite sure how my tactic would work because a lot of the names are very capable of staying with me. So I compromised and thought I’d just get to the front at the start line and stay at the front.
Paul and I did a 20min warm up and then went for a recce lap around the course. When we came round to the start line again disaster!! They were all lined up and we were at the back with no way through!! I thought my race was over. We set off and the lads on the front had taken my tactic! They were nailing it as hard as they could!
Being at the back there was a huge bungee effect going on. I worked as hard as I could to fight my way through the pack. On narrow roads, on a course that is either up or down this wasn’t easy. After about 4 laps I was making my way to the front when I hit a pothole…
My chain came off but I managed to get it back on with a gear change but I was at the back again. I went as hard as I could dodging all the crashes and novices and got to the front just as a break of 5 were getting away. I tried to close the gap but it was too much after all the work I’d done to get through.
I settled for just going at a pace I thought I could hold for the race. We’d been racing for 20 minutes and had another 30 to go. I rode with a group of 3 for another 15 minutes and at one point the commentator told us we were closing the gap. But the guys I was with, simply couldn’t corner! One by one they all crashed in front of me on separate corners, I even had to ride over the back wheel of one guy just so I could stay upright (sorry about that)!!
When the last guy crashed I found myself up on my own! Because of the effort if already put in I’d given up any hope of performing in the Divs the next day so I thought I’d just go for it. I picked up the pace but i was tiring. I looked behind and saw a group of 3 lads chasing me. I eased off and let them catch me so I could use them.
I got them doing turns and I was recovering nicely. With a few laps to go I upped the pace and a few dropped off the back. On the bell I was sat behind the one remaining man who led me out nicely. I took the sprint for 5th place (1 of the break had crashed).
A massive thank you to Richard at the Green Jersey for bringing back a brilliant race on a fantastic circuit. It really was fun. Thanks also to BC for it’s support of the event and Ellen Isherwood for the photos.