Nick Clark and Ginger Smallwood Road Race 11/06/2017

By Tommy Bustard

We don’t usually write a race report for criterium races as they are raced so frequently and compared to road racing can be regarded as a bit tedious from the reader’s point of view. But I have to mention that on Saturday I raced in the Prologue Performance Circuit Series 2 which was the day before the Nick Clarke. The Prologue Performance is an E/1/2/3 National B race at the Bodington Cycle Circuit in Leeds, so attracted some top riders from around the North. It was an hour long race with constant high intensity attacks. This was a race that I won in the final sprint by gaining a 20 meter gap from a 4 man breakaway group to take the win.

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This race saw me get tired legs and I woke up on Sunday morning to race in the Nick Clark with legs that I know had been in a race the day before. This was going to be a tough race. It is an E/1/2 National B race in the middle of the country so attracted riders from North and the South. No matter though, there is nothing ever easy about racing and there are many stage races where races are one day after the other, you just have to deal with that.  The other thing that you have to deal with is a long journey to Buckinghamshire for the next race. Fortunately the start time was at 2pm so I did not have to get up at stupid o clock to get there.

Despite being a little bit tired from Saturday, that didn’t stop Tommy van big blade. The only way to deal with any tiredness is to attack and ride the pain out.  The attacks were instant from the off.  A man got away in the first few Kilometer and I did not want to miss any opportunities, so I bridged in the cross wind solo like an absolute boss.  I say that because nobody else wanted to deal with the head wind so I went at it alone.  For the what seemed a very long time we went flat out and stuck to a well drilled through and off rhythm with my fellow warrior. However since there was only two of us, an intrepid group of about 9 riders caught us.

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They had fresher legs and we stuck with them and worked really well all race. We managed the pace and eventually got a gap of 1 minute and 30 seconds. With two laps to go it started kicking off and the breakaway riders started to attack one another, turns were missed to save legs and the cooperation between us was all but over.  Since nobody was working well together any more, I decided to launch a solo attack, went off and got a 10 second gap. So close to the end, they were not going to let me get away that easily, so got caught within the closing final few hundred meters and just hung on for 7th. I would have preferred a win, but a big improvement and not bad considering my effort the day before and my solo attacks taking the energy out of me, and 7th place in a National B meant 27 points in the bag. In all not a bad weekend for me.

With thanks to the organiser Desmond Gayler

Thank you to sponsors Specialized Bicycles, Leisure Lakes Bikes, OTE Nutrition and Chronomaster Wristwatches

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