My first race of the year post shingles, The March Hare Spring Classic. A firm favourite with the London Cycling scene held at Lee Valley VeloPark.
50 mins of racing around the road circuit with 5 laps. A field of 60 (too many for the circuit in my opinion) with a mix of racers of varying backgrounds and skills. It was going to be a tricky one..
My tactic with racing has always been the same, leave it out on the road. Have fun and make it hard for everyone else. Results are great but it's more about me pushing myself as hard as I can. I have bigger and better goals than this.
On my new crit bike that I built up specifically for races like this I felt in a good place. The bike, a Cannondale CAAD10 equipped with a mix of Shimano Dura Ace and Ultegra Di2 with a Verve InfoCrank power meter was, in my mind, perfect for this kind of thing. So from the gun I positioned myself towards the front of the peloton and began making my way around attacking as to be expected.
Attack after attack, eventually breaking away solo for a fair few laps. I decided to sit up and get caught to save some energy for a sprint. I don't have much of a sprint on me but for once, fancied my chances out there.
The group all came back together in the last few laps and I was well placed for the sprint. As always, everyone gets a bit twitchy at these moments. I think a lot of that comes down to inexperience sadly.
The aftermath. I’m definitely not having the best luck the last few months... Last lap I’m in a great position and, for once I fancied my chance in the sprint so rolled back into the peloton. Last corner sitting in the top 5 wheels. Bang a huge pile up and all of us at the front were taken out unfortunately.. I think caused by a rider coming off the circuit and swerving back on.
A few taken away in ambulances. I only really remember getting up and lifting 3 or 4 bikes off me. Quite battered and bruised at the moment. But I managed to cycle home. Some weren’t so lucky. Times like this make me think there needs to be some race training for new racers. I’m more than happy to help anyone out there and I’m sure there’s many others who will help too. Thanks for the support from my mates and the people watching checking in that I was alright. Heal up fast everyone else involved. Live to fight another day. Now time for pizza.
Photos from Jimmi Nicholls
Strava link file below: