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Planned no, useful yes....

March, the proper return of racing, 4 weekends, 4 races. This month I had 3 road races and 1 circuit race on my calendar.

The month started up at Lee Valley Velo Park. It was an E/1/2 circuit race with four of us in it from Project 51. As a team we were using it as a bit of a training race for me. Also the first time racing with two of the guys as now team mates instead of “rivals” like last year! The race was decent, a few mistakes were made but it was the right type of race to make them in, finishing 4th which was not too bad.

12th March marked race day for the Jock Wadley, a National B road race and my longest one of the year. A super flat course being around 12km in length with approximately 68 meters of climbing. Initially I had not planned to do this race but discussion with my coaches I entered to enable me to gain some more National B experience for future events throughout the year. The nature of the course being flat and so exposed wind was going to play a huge factor in the race, just like Perfs. However this time it was pretty much the whole course exposed not just the climb once every lap!

A huge thank you needs to be said to Peter. Peter is a soft tissue therapist providing me with sports massages and other techniques such as Myofascial cupping to help with my recovery. The week leading into Jock Wadley I managed to cause a bit of an issue to my knee and thanks to a last-minute appointment and some work and it was okay again and ready to resume training. Check Peter out: .

Race wise it was a disappointing one. Not one to forget as there was plenty to be learned from and taken away into following races this year. The wind played a much bigger factor than I initially realised, with the race splitting massively from the first lap. I found myself on the wrong side of splits from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I did then manage to get up the road in a move with a few guys, but a wheel was let go, I tried to close the gap as hard as I could to get back on but in the end it was just getting bigger and bigger so that was the end of that. Ending back in the original group it was still quite jumpy, considering how far behind we were there was still questionable racing by people. Instead of riding consistently as a group to possibly try and salvage some sort of result. In the last bit I and four others managed to get up the road with one of them being a teammate of mine. In the end we got pulled from the race as it was so split, and we were so far behind the leader which was quite humiliating and not the nicest of feelings I have ever had on the bike.

Wally Gimber was the next week, meaning I didn’t have long to wait to put the Jock Wadley behind me. Without going into it too much, as many people will be aware there was quite a bad incident just under an hour into the race. Subsequently the race was black flagged which was totally the correct decision. Lots of questions have been raised from the incident on how British Cycling improve road racing soon but that is another whole blog for the future! To all the riders involved I wish you a quick recovery.

Although we only raced for an hour in the coming days I had a brilliant conversation with Alan and Olly regarding my positioning in the bunch and a few other bits. This was raised from videos sent into the team group chat from teammates that were not racing.

The last race of the month was the Azets Spring classic. An interesting format with 3 stages in one day. A hill climb, 16km individual time trial, and an 85km road race in the afternoon, held down in Blandford Forum. Heading down on the Friday afternoon it gave me bit of an insight into what the courses were like. Race day came around and it was a mixed day. Starting in the morning for both the hill climb and the TT my pacing strategy was less optimal. In the hill climb starting off too easy and then in the TT essentially just panicking and not saving energy for optimal points on the course. Obviously this was far from an ideal situation heading into the road race, however at the same time it was still salvageable in the road race. I had put a fair bit of pressure on myself coming into the road race wanting to sort of rectify the weekend. We went in with a plan and to a certain degree it sort of came off. Just 85km long it was one of the hardest road races I have done to date but a last lap attack managed to semi save the day and give me a little bit of time on GC finishing 8th on the stage and 12th overall. By no means an overall result to be happy with but aspects to take away from the weekend and be pleased with.

So, in summary at the start of the month not really the month I wanted results wise, but learning wise it has probably been one of the best and something that I feel as though will help me throughout the season. Race calendar for April at the moment is looking a little sparse because of a few unplanned changes and some questionable entry acceptances by race organisers but we will make the most of it and see what happens in the coming weeks.

Again, massive thank you to Peter and Pedal Potential for the continued support, and of course Alan Olly, and the entire Project 51 family.

Riding back from the Wally Gimber

Lee Valley Velo Park CRIT, photo taken by London.Bike.Photo

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