06 August, 2013

"Douglas Dewey, c'est du solide"

Cool headline eh?! I don’t want to make this post too long and boring so I’ll rattle through Saturday’s race. I was at doping control on Friday night until nearly midnight: great for the sport, not good for my legs! By the time I got home and into bed it was about 1am. I felt ill at ease the next day on the bike and was a watched man to a ridiculous level in a field of 28 riders, 7 of whom were from the same team. Long and short of it, I climbed off after an hour with the 3rd placed finisher from the night before. We were cooked.

Red socks, pink kit... Errrrr, my others were in the wash okay!

From the highest heights to the lowest lows, that’s just me! I was feeling a bit down on Saturday night, foolish I realise, but I’m an emotional bloke you know? I went to my favourite spot down by the river with a beer and had a little paddle to relax.

I made myself ride on Sunday morning for an hour to get the legs going and then headed off to the race after two coffees: it was one of those mornings! I got to the start town and after seeing no sign of any race luckily stumbled across the course about 4km away on the industrial estate, phew. No time for a warm up, I just got my numbers and had a chat with fellow Brit Noah Banner before the start. It’s good to see young riders coming out here for proper racing.

We even had time for some dancing during the race.

The start was swift and my legs did not enjoy that much. When it settled down I made it into the front group and sat in for a bit. After an hour my legs were coming good and so, after a prime sprint, I decided to get up the road and make the race come to me. In hindsight perhaps 30km out was too far, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. I gained 20 seconds and hung out there for about 11km and when the riders came back up to me there were a lot less of them.

I think cramp did something to my face.

Les Francais were loving this show of panache/stupidity by now so I seemed to have a fair bit of crowd support. Fast-forward to the final kilometre and I’m just off the back of the group clawing my way back after sliding backwards on the final climb. As I reached the group someone attacked and I went to follow him. Just as I came up to his wheel he decided to pull off, with 700 metres to go, and me breathing down his neck. MISTAKE! I held my speed and put the legs into turbo mode, and that was game over for the rest behind as I held my twenty metre advantage to the line.

Glamour? No. Pain? Yes.

There are plenty of things I can take away from this race. Even if a course isn’t perfect for me it’s possible to ride it in such a way that means I’m more in control, namely by sliding backwards on the climb every lap to save the legs! Eating a banana on the start line will get you a one-way ticket to chunder-town. Finally, the French love aggressive riding: what’s French for gung-ho? Tactiques folles?

I know what you're thinking! I've got some winnings now so yes, I'll get down the hairdresser pronto guys!

No comments :

Post a Comment