The Bike-Inn & Avion Spring Shield Race Report
Saturday saw Rich, Will and myself travel up to Middlesbrough for an early season 4th cat. race with the aim of coming away with some points.
Despite not having a warm up, due to arriving at the track late, Rich decided to go full gas from the gun seeing if he could catch the bunch unaware. Unfortunately, he was unable to force a break but did manage to string the bunch out for a couple of laps. With nobody else willing take it up on the front, after a few laps, the group started to bunch up going into the final corner and I took the opportunity to attack over the top.
This attack managed to rip the field to pieces, with small groups all over the course due to a brutal headwind on the start/finish straight. Fortunately, I found myself in the lead group, unfortunately, the others that I was with were tiny, so I was getting zero shelter in the wheels.
After about 15 mins in I found myself in no man's land with 10 up the road (including Rich and Will) and what remained of the bunch half a lap down, so I made the decision to sit up and see if there was any appetite to chase. Once back in the group, I could tell that the hard start to the race and wind had taken its toll with only a couple willing to do any work.
After a few more laps, the reduced bunch managed to reel Rich and one other back in and after giving Rich a bit of time to recover, I decided to ramp the pace up again in order to reduce the bunch further. This worked in our favour as we whittled the group down to four.
Up the road, Will was in the second group on the road and the Hypoxic sessions at the OTE Performance Centre seemed to have worked a treat as Will sprinted for 6th place.
Back in our group, I decided to make it hard from the bell to ensure there were no late attacks from the other two in our group. Out of the final corner, I went early and managed to get myself a gap, so kicked again and came across the line in 9th. Rich managed to hold off the rest of the group and finished 10th.
Result: Will - 6th Ryan - 9th Rich - 10th
Rob entered the 3/4 race, and in his own words it was a bit of a forgetful affair after being forced onto the grass by a rider cutting across his front wheel on the downhill section early in the race. Having (just) chased back on and made contact with the bunch, an attack was launched that spat him out of the back. A mix of bad positioning and an overzealous sprint to catch up costing any hope of a result.
Next up Rob, Rich, Frank and Will are racing Seacroft Wheelers 2/3/4/ Road Race on 24th March. Katie has also entered the women's 3/4!