Race Report: Portsmouth CTL Circuits 18th July - Breakaway Boys

After last week's horrific DQ I was back to try and take revenge at Pompey track on Wednesday evening, in what proved to be an interesting race.

For the first ten minutes or so I rode in the pack, warming up and getting a feel for the track and who was riding. Once again there was a strong headwind on one side of the track, which promised to make a break difficult.

At about ten minutes into the forty minute race I got in a break of about six riders and we began to work well together. I thought it could work and for about twenty minutes we stayed away from the bunch; but certain riders in the group weren't pulling their weight and as the workers in the group began to catch onto that fact they too tried to take shorter turns on the front and as a result the pace of the group slowed. The peloton kept chasing and the hopes of staying away were gradually lost as we were reeled back in.

For a few minutes I sat back in the pack. Then Robbie, one of the lads from the Island, came forward and asked if I fancied giving another break a go. Hell why not. We bolted off the front, trying to get a gap, but for some reason the pack weren't going to let us go this time, and they immediately stepped up the pace. Looked like they might be working well together this week then!

As a result it surprised me when just nine minutes before the three laps board went up, the pack let three riders break off the front. The three opened a decent gap of about a hundred metres. I was even more surprised when another rider was let off the front and then I was able to jump across to him! Perhaps the pack weren't working that well together after all.

It took five hard laps for the two of us to pull the three leaders back in to make a five man break. Then when we caught them I somehow went straight onto the front, eager to keep the pace high to hold off the pursuing pack, who were suddenly picking the pace up as we neared the forty minute mark.

With all but one in the break working hard on the front we managed to stay away. Just. The pack were only two hundred meters or so behind us as the bell rung for the final lap. 
It then became apparent why one of the guys in the break hadn't been working. His team-mate had been doing good stints on the front and going into the final three hundred meters he was leading out the sprint, as I sat in second position. It was then that his reasonably fresh team mate behind me launched his sprint; I couldn't quite get on his wheel, and he managed to hold me off to take the line as I rolled through in second.

An interesting tactical sprint and some great team work by the Fareham Wheelers then. I was happy with a good podium result, and got a few more points in the bag to finish off two successful evenings of racing. Hopefully I can keep it going into the next few weeks.


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