By Tommy Bustard
Having contracted pneumonia two seasons ago, I naturally had a little bit of a break from racing, this break lasted nearly two seasons, as successive infections related to this have kept me off the bike. Having slowly got back into form over the winter months with progressive training I am back into the rhythm of things, but not quite at my best as I have shown in previous seasons.
Having had a very decent ride two weeks ago, where I cam 5th in the Fenland CC National B road race, a tough event in anybody’s books, I was feeling in confident form. On Sunday I was down to race at Pimbo. Anyone who has raced here has asked themselves the question, WHY? However the North West’s finest industrial estate hosting both a crisp factory, and a bike race draws us time after time. Whilst feeling in good form, on Sunday morning I woke up feeling ill which gave me even more reason to question my motives, however I’d paid to hire a car and am most definitely not a soft lad, so I was committed, and made my way over to the race.
Upon arrival at Pimbo I spotted a friendly face in Si Wilson, top lad, and an honest man (in possession of a stripy jumper to boot) who I have competed with on many occasions in the past. Unfortunately, my illness had restricted my ability to speak and I was not in a sociable mood, so a few cursory nods was all the greeting I could manage.
My warm up was pretty much non-existent as I figured it would just make me feel worse. This was an E/1/2/3 race and pretty often the first few laps of the course are enough of a warm up as the attacks usually start once everybody has got a couple of laps under the belt, sussing out the competition and mood of the bunch, a few laps in, I hit out with Si and another lad I didn’t recognise. However, with a determined bunch bearing down on us, we were soon caught and then immediately countered whilst I was still getting my breath back. With that counter attack, a few of them got away which proved to be the winning move as they stayed away and were not caught. I could list the standard excuses, “Poorly positioned”, “Missed the break” “Went too soon”. The fact is, they were a tough bunch I wasn’t strong enough on the day, and this was only hampered by me feeling ill
From pre previous racing experience, I have the mindset of never giving up and work hard for everything that I am worth. So for the remainder of the race I spent imitating Spartacus with attacks into the wind, (unfortunately though lacking a motor 😉 these all turned out to be kamikaze efforts. As per usual on Pimbo few seemed willing to put in the work to chase the group up the road and the second group remained together until the finish. Personally, I’m not up for sprinting for the minor positions so sat up on the last lap to let the remaining “sprinters” battle it out for the crumbs.
So not my best race ever, but not for lack of trying. You can’t win everything, but you can put in your best effort into everything, which is exactly what I intend to do for every race coming up for me this season
Big thanks to Maxxis 4 racing team for organising the race,
Big thanks to Ellen Isherwood and her Facebook page Lancs Racing Scene, for the pictures.