I was hoping that a stint of lethargy and the resultant bad form was something I would only have to endure for November as I got to grips with some harder training, along with the onset of the mud. For a while it felt as though every pedal revolution, be it on the rollers, riding into work or racing, instantly overloaded my legs with lactic acid!
Following a week that involved the 'premiere' of the 'London To Paris' film, the Rouleur Print Sale party and a night at Revolution in Manchester, I didn't have high hopes of much form in the South Eastern Regional Champs on Sunday but I made sure of a comprehensive warm-up combining a spin on the turbo, a stretch and a couple of practise laps.
Jamie Newall was a man on a mission and pretty much rode away from the field when the gun went. I rode hard but within myself, holding position without dipping too far into the red. The lead nine quickly opened a gap, leaving a chase group to fight it out for 10th. Andy and I rode together for much of the first lap until we hit the main run-up where I opened a gap and the group began to splinter. This group continued to whittle-down as Andy retired following a head/tree interface and Phil Glo swapped to a bike without mud tyres.
For the first time in a few weeks I was able to get on and stay ontop of the gear. My Rhinos were at 25psi and despite the loamy surface in the woods grip was plentyful. Power seemed readily available and it stayed that way until 47mins had passed when I blew hard. Fortunately though, the riders chasing me cracked at almost precisely the same moment. Phil continued to close on me but I managed to hold my lead for the remaining two laps and turned myself inside out to maintain 10th place. My best placing at the Regionals.
May have found a venue for some urban cross training. CJ.Boom and I are off to scout out a session tonight. Hopefully the December I was hoping for may actually come to fruition...