Not much racing for me as I finally succumbed to the bug I thought I got rid of last month. Everyone's had it at work (I blame Jamie and his Tapei experience, although he had it much worse) so it was no surprise that one Saturday morning I simply couldn't get out of bed. I figured it'd take a week to get over it so come Wednesday I pulled out of the national 10. Annoying but the best decision, as it would have been too soon to push it. Those that did race while sick didn't have a good time of it. On a positive note, it was great to see Julia win the women's and Matt (2nd), Chas (6th) and Jon (8th) collect the men's team prize for www.drag2zero.com.
In the end I had five days off the bike which doesn't sound like a lot but it does trash your top end fitness. I'm currently in the process of regaining that, so opted to ride round 4 of the Rudy Project series a week and a bit ago. It went as well as I could have expected, as I finished second to Matt, albeit with a 2'23 gap.
It was a hard one to judge as it was a hot (by UK standards) and windy day and the times were relatively slow, everyone's power was down, etc. I started off well and had the foresight to knock it back early on as I could feel the heat was going to cook us all on the second lap. I had the second quickest first lap split, 28'31 to Matt's 27'35 with Matt Clinton (28'47) and James Coleman (28'51) not far behind.
Lap 2 and there was the inevitable power drop off, but I managed to go a tad quicker by riding smarter. When you don't have a lot in the tank you need to use it wisely. Matt also went quicker and won convincingly in 56'00 while I scraped in for second with 58'23. Matt Clinton won the battle for third with 58'42. Julia Shaw caught Rebecca Slack for two minutes to win the women's in 29'54 and that gave us the team prize, which was tres nice. I have rather a lot of pairs of Rudy Project sunnies now.
|Racing at Castle Combe. Photo: Neil Davies|
It's going to be an interesting affair at the top in the 25 as besides Hutch and Matt, there's British TT champ Alex Dowsett (Team Sky) and a couple of talents Doug Dewey and Joe Perrett. That's my top five pick, not sure of the order though. There are another dozen or so riders who will be vying for 6th-10th, I hope I'm one of them!