So on Saturday my dad and I drove the 140 miles out to Chepstow, although I’ve raced the circuit before I wanted to check the circuit again to refresh my mind and check for any significant changes such as potholes. We arrived at the circuit at 3pm and set off to ride it with Reece Wood, Matt Walls and Jake Beach as they said I could ride it with them.
In the evening we found what restaurant we could as our hotel weren’t serving. After eating out we headed back to the lovely hotel to rest up and go to bed at 9:45. My thoughts on the course had been it can be hard, especially with a tailwind up the drag as less slipstream means the race can be made very hard! Overall the race was 4.5 laps, 5 times up the drag but 4 full times over the line near the top of the drag, the decent was around 6 mins as well followed by a lumpy section back to the drag again.
On race day I fueled up at 7:30, 3 hours before the race was due to start before heading off from our hotel in Bristol at 8:20 to go over the bridge and start setting up at 8:45. So then at 9:20 I had already gear checked and signed on as soon as it opened I got ready and started my 20 min warm up that had a progressive effort in with 3 short kicks to make sure I was ready for what could of been a hard start up the 15 minute drag in the race. We had a short briefing followed by a longer neutralized section as explained on the start line.
For the first 1 hour of the race I made sure to sit in and held the front 20, I made sure to eat as well as I knew I was going to attack. Next I bridged to a break, the legs felt good, however I was really starting to struggle with my breathing as I had a chest infection, (the worsened illness of my sore throat from the Scottish national) I knew I had to try to make the best of it so for the next 5 mins I cleared myself of as much….excess…as possible! I hoped now I could physically breathe better as it was like being strangled. Next 20 minutes of the race I put in around 3 attacks which were all chased down. Elliot.Redfern of HMT, Pete Kibble of Velocity global bike and another were up the road, at the bottom of the descent fully rested I made what could have been my final move and really gave it some as the bunch had eased up after a rapid descent, I made a 6 minute effort and got across the 30 second gap. I could see the bunch still not far off me up a 2 minute climb on the bottom section as I had 20 seconds on them, I fully pressed on here and got away from them even more, I then caught the break sat on for a minute and upped the pace, so much around the bends as well that it caused a split, Pete and the other rider seemed a little tired after going a lap earlier, and knowing Elliot and I were strong I wanted to keep the glory more for my self and keep the pace higher as I knew us two could do that especially with 45 minutes to go only 15 minutes into the attack.
We worked for the top of the drag and rested downhill still keeping a few hard revs here and there. We were then caught by Ryan Coulton of Pro vision with fresher legs, and not long after Jacob Vaughan and Ben Hardy. The 5 of us played some cat and mouse with only 2 miles to go, Elliot and I must of felt pretty similar, him even more as I’d been up the road for just over an hour and he had been up there for over an hour 10 minutes by this point! An attack came from Ryan and Elliot chased it down, and he then launched his sprint getting a little gap on us, Jacob went around him and stormed off ahead whilst the non sprinter tired legs were no match for Jacob and just about not enough for Ryan as he rolled in about a meter ahead of me. Despite being ill I feel I made the best of the race coming away with third, its sad me and Elliot got caught so late by the fresher guys but in the end its a learning curve to see what can happen with bridging later as well, a tactic I’m willing to give a go soon at some point, one that looks like it could suit me much better!
Well done to Jacob.V on the win, he rode it like a boss and it was well deserved!
Thanks to Epic Cycle coaching
Stealth secret training.