Racing: South Region Road Race Champs - Mojo Restored

I hadn't really been enjoying racing this last week. Last Sunday, I rode at the Southern XC South Champs, and only managed a rather poor 8th in the Sport category. Then on Thursday, at the Ryde Town Criterium race (before the Tour Series event), I was dropped from the lead group and only took 13th. In both cases, a lack of explosive power, and slightly timid bike handling, were my main downfalls. With the Island Games approaching fast, I wasn't looking in great shape with just a month and a bit to go...

Today, I headed to the same Owslebury course that was used for the James Atherton Road Race, and signed on against some big names for the South Region Road Race Champs. I went with the (perhaps slightly pessimistic) view that I would be doing well if I even managed to finish. Luckily, I managed that.

Unlike at the James Atherton day, the weather today was not a gale force nine and driving rain; rather, sunshine and a light breeze were a welcome set of conditions. The course remained just as tough though, with almost no flats and some technical corners. 

The race went off quite hard, and at 84 miles long, it was going to be a long way to sit at close to the red zone. Luckily, after a few laps a break went, and things lulled a bit. Eventually, our chasing group got things together and reeled back in the break; or at least we thought we had, it turned out four more were still up the road. 

The pace remained high, but the group of four stayed away. In addition, riders were going off the front and forming a smaller group up the road. On the final lap, I decided to make a last ditch attempt at bridging across to that group (I'm no sprinter, so there wasn't much point waiting for the bunch gallop). With the help of another rider, we made the junction, and I crossed the line 10th.

That might not sound exceptional, but it was a good result for me; given I was questioning whether I'd even get round, earlier in the day.

The result was what I needed; a bit of a confidence booster. Enough to suggest that I might not be a lost cause for the Island Games, and I might actually be able to get a result. Here's to hoping things are back on track. Bike racing mojo restored. 


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