By Jon Fowles
Adam and I raced the Calthwaite Road Race on Sunday. This race was organised by Rock to Roll cycles, who also organise the Smithfield road race and Hadrians Wall road race, both course that I enjoy very much. Therefore I was looking forward to this race!
Despite being close to the Lake District, the course was fairly flat, with the only distinctive features being a few small rises and corners. This meant it would be hard to split the pack up with a breakaway, and I wasn’t keen on it coming to a bunch finish. With this in mind, from the gun I started attacking. Hoping that the high pace and attacks would let a break get clear.
The first few attempts didn’t work, but I prompted Adam to keep attacking whenever my attempts failed so we always had a man up the road. On the second lap a small group of 8 or so riders managed to break clear. Unfortunately it had neither Adam or I in it!!! As this group had a fairly decent gap, I waited for the pace to slow and someone to attack so I could jump on their wheel and bridge across. It took a pretty horrific effort, but after pedalling hard and dribbling a bit I managed to make it across the gap to the riders up front. We then set about hitting the pace to extend our lead. This was hard work and clearly took its toll on some of the escapees, who dropped off the back.
After three laps riding hard, we thought we’d done enough to get out of reach of the peloton when the commissaire car dropped behind our group. We were wrong. The bunch loomed behind us, and for another lap we tried as hard as we could, with tired legs and in a disorderly fashion to stay clear. We were caught on the penultimate lap, and I was pretty cooked. I sat in the bunch and tried to stick with any counter attacks.
Three riders managed to break clear with an opportunistic move, and neither me nor Adam had the any legs left to go with it. We decided to sit in the remains of the bunch and wait for the sprint for the remaining places. I managed to stay out of trouble at the front of the bunch and finish in 9th place. Unfortunately Adam was held up behind a car and finished with the rest of the bunch.