Race Report: Sotonia CC Heath Race 2 - Breakaway Flyers and A Futile Chase

First road race in a while last night - over in the New Forest for the Sotonia CC Heath Race. A good field of 40 riders, a reasonably strong wind and a rare sunny evening (for July?!) looked set to make for an interesting race.

The course was made up of five laps of the six mile circuit, with a few rolling hills and some fast wooded descents. Jimbo got in an early break during the first lap, but it was pulled back in by the second time we rolled through the line. Then almost immediately another attack of three riders went off the front. Unfortunately Wightlink RT didn't manage to get anyone in that break, and to our annoyance it was the one that stuck!

During lap three I did some hard efforts on the front, desperately trying to reel the break back in. However, as the big teams Cannondale, VC. St. Raph. and Andover Wheelers had riders in the break there weren't many riders willing to work to pull the escapees back in. After five minutes or so sat on the front trying to pull it back with a heart rate of 90% max, I eventually conceded and let myself drift back into the pack, to recover in time for the sprint.

Swinging into the final straight on the final lap I picked my wheels carefully, choosing those that would bring me to the front at about the right time. Just before the incline up to the finish I clicked down a gear and kicked, banking on my long sprint to pull me through. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have changed down because as we hit the incline I never managed to get that new gear up to speed. However, I pulled through a fair few riders and finished third in the bunch sprint, with Jimbo screaming past me for a bunch sprint win and a team fourth in the race, and Sam coming in just behind me to take tenth.

A good result for the team then, with positions 4th, 6th and 10th, and another 12 points for my license.
Good to be back on track, without any DQs!

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