Thursday, 7 July 2011

Braveheart Blog - British Champs and Arthur Campbell Super 6

Two weeks ago I was racing the British Senior Road Championships near Newcastle. My target was to get up there for the U23 title.

The course was 3 big laps taking in the steep Ryals climb and then 4 smaller laps on rough draggy roads to cover over 122 miles in total and with most of the British Protour riders as well, it was the longest and toughest race I’ve ever done.

The Ryals climb
Team Sky were in a league of their own and were well away after the first hour. So after that it was race within a race with U23 title still wide open. The remaining Sky riders teamed up with the 100%ME academy guys and Endura were riding for their man Scott Thwaites.

I was going strong, not getting caught out of any splits. I made it into the front group when the bunch split in two. The latter bunch got pulled out before completing the last lap. 

However, in the final 2 laps of the smaller circuit, about 20 miles to go, the efforts took its toll on my legs and eventually I couldn’t go with the groups that got away.

I ended up sprinting in for 31st, a couple of minutes down on them and 4 mins down on 5th place and first domestic rider, Ian Bibby.

Although I didn’t medal in the U23, I was happy just to finish it as it was the hardest race of the year, a lot of good riders didn’t make it to the finish. The more races at this level I get to do, the better I will improve.

The team after the race
Arthur Campbell Super Six

Last weekend was the Arthur Campbell RR hosted by my old club, the Glasgow Wheelers.

After an early breakaway of the day got reeled back in by a bunch, I eventually made it into the winning break of 8, going into the last lap. The group included my teammates Davy Lines and Gary Hand, Matt Kipling of Team Raleigh, ex Kiwi champ Jason Allen of Subway/Giant and two Herbalife riders.

We were rolling through on the last lap after gaining minute on the remaining pack. But this gap was gradually coming down however a super effort from Davy Lines in the last couple of miles secured our break staying away.

After that, I attacked early on to see if I could go it alone but it came back. We were all looking around at each other with half a mile to go, knowing it would come down to a sprint. One the Herbalife riders took it up until the last corner, when I led out the sprint with about 200m to go.

I crossed the line first with Jason Allan a close 2nd and Herbalife’s Andrew Hawdon taking 3rd.
It was a great team effort, the guys really rode well as a team and that’s me now got my elite licence so it was a really good day. Well done to David Lang and the Wheelers for putting on a great event.

Here's a video of the race: 

Up next for me is a stage race in the Spanish Basque Country which should be brilliant.


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