The month started well with a tt at castle Combe on Wednesday. I did a 20:38 on my road bike. Then on good Friday my first bunch race of the season and the first win of the season at the Easter classic at Oddown.
I attacked from the gun pushing hard through the corners to make a gap. I got brought back and then James P and Nathan H from the team counter attacked. They got brought back and I was in a good position so I carried the speed of the bunch kicked hard as the bunch was slowing and counter attacked. I brought Conner M from primera with me and we quickly built the gap to 10-15 seconds. The gap hovered at this for the next 15 -20 mins. The teams who had missed the move behind would pull hard to try and bring us back for a lap or to but would burn out. Also both me and Conner were cornering really fast so we were gaining time each corner. Both our teams were doing a great job of interrupting the chase behind and with 8 mins to go I was starting to think how I could win the race. I knew I could out sprint Conner having raced with him last Oddown winter series. I didn’t particularly want to lead the sprint out as I knew my strength in sprinting lies in kicking off wheels and less in longer drag racing type sprints. Conner forced me to be on the front so I slowed it down and went to the left side of the track so he could only come round one side of me. With just under 200 to go I kicked hard to the middle of the road to generate some lateral distance and break the tow. In the closing meters I could feel him gaining on me as it was a tailwind sprint and I was on my junior gears so my top speed isn’t as high as adults. But my kick was hard enough and I was going fast enough that he couldn’t come round me and I won the race by just under a bike length.
It felt great to be back in a bunch again and it was an amazing feeling to get my arms in the air.Especially with everything that has happened since September and the worries about never being able to race again. Those concerns have been well and truly put to bed and I am a faster stronger and all round better cyclist than I ever have been.
My next race was another tt at castle Combe. This time it was much colder and windier, this was reflected in the time with being around a minute slower than the week before. However I did set a massive new power pb so I was very pleased with myself.
After that I raced the first round of the Hillingdon Tuesday nights. After the first 10 mins of a few attacks but nothing getting away me and Cam from Nopinz, Tom Portsmouth and another rider got away. We got a gap quickly and the peloton behind never really made any time back on us. With 3/4 of a lap to go one of the riders attacked up the horse shoe. But we were all back together by the second to last corner. I was man 4 coming in for the sprint. I didn’t really have a plan coming into the finish which was a mistake but I was stuck as to how to win the race. I didn’t really see an opportunity to attack in the closing stages as there are no hills or corners to split the race up on so my only real option was the sprint that I was confident in but I knew would be difficult due to it being a slight downhill and tailwind sprint meaning that it would be really fast. I did a really good sprint but went to late so ran out of road to pass the riders ahead of me so I came in 3rd. Not a bad result but I wasn’t massively happy with it.
The next race was the Didcot Phoenix road bike tt champs. My first club 10 of the year. It was lots of fun on a slow but fun and technical corse. I was pleased to take the win by 5 seconds.
The final race of this month was a Phoenix 10 on the H10/17R. This is one of the fastest corses near me and was my first hit out on my tt bike. I broke the Junior CR by 32 seconds but just missed out on my first sub 20 by 13 seconds which was frustrating. But on a better night and with a few more marginal gains I’m sure I can ride sub 20.
It has also been great to get back in the gym again. I had been really missing it and with GLL extending my sponsorship to 2022 I can go a lot more now that they are back open.
Looking to the month ahead it is not as jam packed with racing as this month has been. This is mainly because I have my exams for my A levels this month so I can’t really dedicate all weekend to racing my bike. With that said I am still racing at Oddown this weekend, a tt next weekend and if it goes ahead the chittern road race at the end of the month. So overall still a good amount of racing. I am really looking forward to getting my exams finished, leaving school and building towards my big goals later in the year.