Its unusual for me to be racing on a Saturday so the whole weekend felt a little weird, I kept thinking that I would have to go to work the next day. This time the race was local so I also didn’t need to be up darling the morning like most race days. The start was a late start too, so i actually gotta have a little lay in, and no rush to get out the door. All my kit was still ready the Night before so all I had to do was load the car. The rest of the family were joining me too, the sun was shining and it felt warm. We got to Ashton Court in plenty of time to get ready and meet together team members. The venue was already chewed up a little from the morning races, the car park however was one big mud bath, glad I have 4×4 that could cope with it, there were plenty of other vehicles that couldn’t.
I was a little too relaxed, all of a sudden the race start time was upon us. I got to the start line with about 2 minutes to spare, the start style is a lemans stat, and anyone that knows me, I don’t run, not at all, never, so I didn’t really like the start, luckily I didn’t have to run far, I had put my bike as close to me as possible. Read soon on the bike and pedalling, not fast of too hard, I knew that I had four hours ahead of me. However I soon passed Pete, who was already suffering from a bad knee,then Brad, not too sure what was wrong with him! Matt was off quite quick, but I wasn’t concerned as I knew that i would start to pick people off on the second lap, once I had warmed up. The first lap is actually a half lap, this too me 22 minutes, which wasn’t bad. The track was slippery and I had far too much ait in my tyres for the conditions, I was all over the place an had no confidence in the bike, I stopped quickly an let a bit of air out of the front wheel. There was an immediate change to the handling of the bike, I had a little more trust that the front wheel was going to stay where I wanted it too.I could now see Matt in my sights an soon caught him. We rode together for 3/4 of a lap, when we reached the Stella climb I said my goodbye and went ahead. This didn’t last long though as I was having problems keeping my chain on, it’s normally OK, but guessing there must have been a problem with mud, I can also usually get the chain ring to pick the chain back up, but on this occasion I had to stop and put it back on the ring this stop Matt passed me again. This was the last I was going to see him again while racing today. As I passed the start/finish line he ha pulled off the track an finished his race for the day.
I continued on to do another lap, this lap was a bit wet as the heavens decided to open. This was my last lap, as I passed the start/finish line I thought that I ha around 1/2 hour of racing left, but it turns out I was wrong, there was 45 mins. Although the clocks stops at 4 hours, and the lap your on won’t count if you’ve not passed the line before the 4hours is up, I was consistently doing 41 min laps, apart from the lap I had a puncture, which was 51mins, so could have got another lap in.
I was happy with the results though.
Me – 3:18:11 – 5 laps
Matt – 2:25:42 – 4 laps
Brad – 1:46:26 – 3 laps
Pete – 1:09:50 – 2 laps