Via Roma Spring Handicap round 1 Wednesday 18th April 2018 Nick, Laura and myself took to the roads of Aston Down Airfield. Sam and Ryan, our friends from SVV were also riding
The sun was shining but the headwind was horrendous on the long wide Airfield and fantastic tailwind on the other side up to where the finish line was. Laura, Nick and myself lined up on the start line with around 30 other excited and anxious riders which were to be let off first. Our group consisted of Ladies, over 60’s and 4th Cat riders. We were off and followed the lead car. I looked across the Airfield and could see the next group lining up. These were the 3rd,2nd,1st and elites. They were released a couple of minutes after us, the aim for the organisers was for us all to end up together, fighting for places at the end of the hour long race.
The top corner of the circuit has an S bend with poor surface at the exit. A fifty meter stretch of potholes and loose tarmac. I was working hard to keep the pace and I was doing too much work on the front again. The lad from Bristol road club and a few others who had been hiding in the bunch flew off after I had just pulled off the front and I couldn’t respond so I missed the break. I tried to organise a chase but not enough people would come through. After a couple more laps, the 3rds 2nd and 1st cats caught us and I saw Sam and Ryan in the bunch. I hung on to them for 1/2 lap then ran out of steam so worked with about 10 remaining to finish the race. I was pleased because I finished 2nd in my group after sprinting away. Finished second in the second group though and happy with my legs. They’re shot to pieces now though. Two days later. It was painful.
We are still waiting for the results but we know the Bristol RC rider won overall and 1st 4th Cat, Sam came fifth overall with a great ride and he was very happy after the race. Ryan thinks he was in the top ten. Nick had a blow out and has to pull out. He said he looks forward to finishing here after this and last years race being abandoned. Laura held on to the bunch as long as she could then lost touch so rode her own race to the end for a great nights work.