Loads of Belgians turned up to the 2nd round of the National Trophy on Sunday, even rumored to have been on start-money! I was gridded near the back as usual but got away to a great start, exiting the pit area in about 30th place.
It had been steadily drizzling all morning and despite the sun coming out for the Elite race, the course remained treacherously slippery (I have decided to invest in some Dugast Rhino's). The exit from the pits transitioned from grass to tarmac whilst turned sharp left up a climb. As I went to put the power down, my rear wheel spun out and overtook the front, unceremoniously dumping the bike on the ground. I lost 8 places right there.
I chased back on and caught the group that now contained my sparring partner Andy. As I committed to remounting my bike following the hurdle, Andy came up my outside and I booted his bike full-force which sent me staggering backwards off mine. Again, I lost the group and again I chased back on.
By now it was clear (to me) that I was covering ground quicker than this group and I worked my way to the front to share the load. Along a muddy off-camber section my bike seemingly disappeared from under me and Andy came past me. On the following climb the door shut on me and I got pushed into one of the marker poles, forcing me to stall.
For a third time I lost the group and was forced to chase back on, only this time I never quite mustered the legs to get back on. I rode for lap after lap on my own but the elastic finally snapped and the leader caught me on the bell lap. A frustrating day but that's racing and there is much to be learnt from riding these events.
The London Cycle Show is out of the way now, allowing me to focus more clearly on training. This coming weekend sees an entry into the London Dynamo Hillclimb(!) and then the next London League is at Marden on Sunday.