I hate the notion of luck. I don't like how unscientific and unproductive it is to just blame it on bad luck when most of the time decisions could have been made to avoid the situation. I also hate relying on good luck because it supports the notion of not being in control. Bad luck provides a easy excuse as to why something didn't go to plan. However this month I have just been unlucky, most of all at Cicle classic. Hopefully I've gone through all my bad luck now and thing will start to go my way in races because the legs are there.
The month started with a mid-week 10mile tt round Hillingdon, I may have broken the all-time lap and course record, but I am waiting to hear from the organisers if they have managed to recover the data off the laptop.
Then that weekend was the PNE road race. It was a cool course and lovely weather. The race itself was ok one rider attacked pretty early on, and his team did a good job of blocking so he soloed away for an impressive win. I tried to get a chase working but not enough people were working so we never made any dent in the gap. The sprint at the end was disappointing. I was positioned well but the riders Infront of me blew up because they went too early so I had to break a couple times to avoid them. I finished 12th so not a bad result but not what I was hoping for going into it.
The next weekend was the first Junior national which was the Tour of Yorkshire. The first stge was a TT on part of the afternoon’s road race circuit. It was a short effort of under 8 mins. I was overall pleased with my result of 15th. The afternoons road race was going well until I got forced into a pothole through the feed zone on lap 2. This caused me to get a pinch puncture. Even though the neutral service were speedy, thanks very much Swift Pro Cycling for the wheel. However due to the convoy needing to stop and then drive fast to get back to the back of the peloton. This meant I couldn’t draft the convoy to get back in. I got lapped and lost an hour on the GC. Not a good day out.
Stage 3 was much better. I rode an aggressive race and was chasing back the breakaway with Jack and Josh. We caught it with about 20k to go. Coming into the finish I was positioned well on the right of the road because the finish curved to the right. But with about a K to go a car coming the other way forced me to the back. I started my sprint early to make as many places as I could which I did. I went from about 30th to 10. So, a good result to end what was a frustrating weekend.
After that I did the local 25. It was a cold murky day wet day. With main goals coming up I was being very careful round the roundabouts. I did a 52:38 which got me 1st junior. I also smashed the junior course record by over 5 mins. I was overall pleased with my effort but the second half of the out leg I didn’t go fast enough which cost me time. I’m pleased with my effort overall though. I did a good job of maintaining a good position for the whole race.
The final weekend in June was Cicle Classic. This was one of my target races for the year. I had been looking forward to it all year. The course was brilliant. So much fun. Every K was awesome. I was positioned really well all race always in the first 15ish wheels. Through the first sector someone rode into my rear derailer causing the di2 wire to come out. I had to stop to plug it back in and then chase back on. Just as I got back on Josh Tarling attacked so I was unable to respond as I had only just got back on. Coming into the next gravel section I was about 8th wheel and had made the split. At the top of the climb the race was stopped because of the number of crashes we no longer had ambulance cover. We were stopped for about 25 mins, and this meant that everyone who had been dropped got back on. They pushed their way to the front for the race restart and were just in the way because they didn’t have the skills down the decent. This meant that me and a few others who were in the front group which before the race was stopped was no more than 20. When the race was restarted there was around 100 riders in the group. Having worked my way past a lot of riders on the decent I was then chasing hard to try get back on. Me and 3 other guys chased hard for 20k to get back to the front group.
We caught back up with them just before the sumerburg reverse sector. The riders who had pushed their way into the front split at the restart having been dropped long ago were getting in the way again because they weren’t strong enough to keep up. This meant having to go off the racing line to go round them. Off the line was much stonier. A flint cut my side wall causing all the air to leave my tire and with it any hopes I had of a result. Having eventually got a wheel from neutral service (there were so many punctures that they were almost out of wheels) I carefully made my way through the decent of the sector with only one working break. This was because the spare wheel I got was much narrower at the rim than my wheel that punctured this meant my pads didn’t touch the rim. I found myself a group to ride with and we rolled to the finish, I made sure to be at the front through the final sector, so I got through it safely which I did.
With a K to go someone attacked and the group surged in response. I was positioned in 3rd wheel in the group. The rider Infront overtook the guy on the front which put me in second wheel round the final corner with a pretty big gap to close to the guy who attacked. I launched my sprint really early with around 300 to go because of the size of the gap. I caught him on the line with a lunge. A really good sprint but for a meaningless position of 57th. Not at all the result I wanted from the race, but I am pleased with how the race was going up until my puncture. I was always in a good position and my legs felt great. I was not at all phased by the off-road sections and I really enjoyed them. My preparation for the race was really good and I don’t feel like I made any mistakes in the race so overall I am content with how I rode it is just really disappointing that another opportunity has been missed due to mechanical failure.
It was my favourite race I have ever done, and I hope to be able to do the senior one next year. I defiantly think it’s a race that suits me and with no bad luck for me I think I can come away with a good result.
I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks coming up with Otley GP national champs and Bath RC national. The legs are good and all I need is to not have bad luck.