Thruxton Circuit Race - 25th March - Headwinds and High Heart Rates

Today I travelled up to Thruxton for the second round of the Thruxton Circuit Race. We had a good set of lads heading up for the Wightlink Race Team, and with sunny skies and a good temperature it looked like it was going to be a cracker of a day.

Last week I had made the mistake of doing too much too early on in the race. So the plan for today was to sit in the bunch until lap six (of ten) and then give it a go at a break-away, and if that didn't work I would have time to sit back in, recover and prepare myself for the sprint.

That is pretty much how the race panned out, from the off my legs weren't feeling great; I don't know why, but it was just one of those days. Unlike last week there weren't many attempts to get off the front in the first six laps, so there wasn't much chasing to do. We couldn't get organised for the break-away in the sixth lap, so we pushed it back to the seventh and towards the end of that lap we gave it a go: As we headed up the small drag to the chicane, I was up towards the front with the guys that thought we could make a break. After the chicane we kicked - four or five of us, I'm not sure, I was at the front going hell-for-leather, with a heart rate through the roof.

It worked...well sort off. We had a thirty metre gap at one point, and I seriously thought we might be able to do it. But then simultaneously we turned the corner and hit the headwind, and at the same time someone on the front of the main field kicked and brought them chasing up behind us quickly. After a third of a lap we were caught, it seemed that once again it wasn't going to happen - Thruxton doesn't seem to lend itself well to breakaways; for the whole circuit you can see riders going off the front, so there is no element of surprise, and at the same time it is so flat and windy that it makes it hard to stay out in front of a chasing bunch.

So by halfway through lap eight we were back in the front of the pack and the speed was ramping up. We were well strung out and my hope was that it would remain that way so that it wouldn't be a bunch sprint.
To an extent it did; going into the final drag we were fairly strung out and I was in the front four riders, the three in front of me then went VERY early, on the hill on the way into the chicane. I had no choice but to go with them and as a result went through the chicane and onto the straight with legs burning and already feeling like it should be the end of the sprint....but it wasn't, I had another 300meters to go. I tried to kick, but the legs weren't there, I rolled over the line in 7th I think.

It was a good race, around a mile an hour faster paced than last week at 23.7mph, and with the headwinds there was never really much chance of a breakaway. We tried though and it almost worked, which is encouraging. I might not have got all the points I needed to move out of 4th Cat, but I put some points on the card, so I only need an 8th place now, which should be do-able fairly easily. Another great day out with the Wightlink RT boys, and a good test of the legs and heart on a hard, windy day. In the next few weeks I'll be working on my sprint and looking at the calendar to find me some hills!


  1. Another good report Tim. Sorry it didn't work out for you. But more points toward Cat 3.

  2. Confirmed as 7th. Well Done.

    I said I was 20th to 25th. Turned out to be 23rd so not a bad guess.

  3. Cheers Darren, yeah pretty satisfied with 7th, still more work to do I think. We'll make that breakaway happen yet ;-) good luck this weekend at the Pittards

  4. I cant ride. I messed up and thought you could enter on the day so its full and I havent got a space.

    Think im going to ride down (28 miles), watch it and ride back if the weather is ok.

    I know what you mean about more work to do.... I need to work on that increase in pace before the sprint.



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