After the Beast from the East had claimed the Hull 3 up tt, I was Itching to find some racing action this weekend and the only thing available that was local at such short notice was the first of the Lancaster Spring Crit series. After a good winter’s training and not a bad result at the Rossendale cc time trial last week, I was confident of a good result today.
The format was a 45-minute circuit race for 3rd and 4th Cat riders. I rode up to Salt Ayre from Preston, timing it perfectly to arrive 10minutes before the start. Just enough time to sign on, pin the numbers on and still be warm.
There was still a strong easterly wind blowing down the finishing straight so I knew it would be difficult to get away early doors while everyone was fresh and eager to get the season of to a flyer. SO the plan was to sit in for 20-minutes, then down my OTE caffeine gel and get stuck in with a hope to get away.
It was all going so well….. I was sat mid-bunch and it was easy. Even going into the strong head-wind I was well sheltered. 20-minutes in and I was ready to get my gel out. All the guys who’d been aggressive in these first few laps were starting to tire and the time was right. That was until we came around the s-bends.
With a strong tailwind we were doing about 28mph in a tight bunch, when a couple of riders got a bit panicky in the corner. The inevitable happened, the came down and the mayhem spread like I fan behind them. I was 2 bikes back and accepted my fate.
Somehow, I managed to unclip and my bike fell behind me as I skated across the tarmac on my cleats like Christopher Dean. Not quite as graceful because I ended up in a heap in the mud. I picked myself back up straight away and my first thought was ‘get your bike and chase back on!’
I don’t know what came over me because I found my bike underneath someone else’s, ran up to it, picked up the other rider’s bike and flung it to one side! Quite rightly, he wasn’t happy! ‘Bloody Hell, it’s not the world champs!’ he shouted. I realised what a spoon I’d been and apologised profusely. To his credit he was cool and helped me on my way with a kind push.
I made it about 50m before I realised my bars were pointing the wrong direction, my back wheel was so buckled it was catching on my brakes and my gears didn’t work. Race Over.
Not the best start to my season and a bloody long ride back to Preston. But that’s racing! The only way is up!
Thanks to Lancaster Uni CC for hosting the event, all the Commissaires and Marshalls who braved the freezing conditions to help out and of course the ever-present Ellen Isherwood for taking the fantastic photos.
Congrats to for taking the win, Get well soon to the young lady who appeared to be hurt in the crash and apologies once again to the guy whose bike I chucked! My bad!