Friday, 17 January 2014

Race Report: Imperial Winter Series E123 - 11th Jan

Ok, so i'm only just getting around to write this (my first!) race report. To say work has been busy would be a huge understatement. Anyway, don't want real life to cloud by posts!

This was the 7th out of 11 races in the Imperial Winter series at Hillingdon. Ah Hillingdon! A flat and very fast circuit in West London, which I do enjoy racing on. What I do not like is the 16 mile bike ride to get there, and then another 16 miles to get back... Some of the worse roads to cycle on.

Race didn't start till 2:15pm, so a steady cycle out with Lucinda, and got there in plenty of time. Upon arrival a large Cat4 field was going around (circa 40 riders!) got ready, pinned number on, had a gel, had a banana, and then once the Cat4 race had finished headed out for a warm up (which I needed) I was cold. Very cold. A few laps and then it was time to get onto the start line.

Now the start line was full of E12 and 3 riders... all mixed together, which I didn't expect, as I thought it was E12 and then 3. So yeah I thought, this will be an interested first race since August!

And we're off! (heading ACW) as is often the case at Hillingdon the pace seemed ok to start with, and then ramped up a little. Now I don't have a heart rate monitor, or a power meter, but I can tell you we were averaging just over 27mph for the first 20 minutes. Fairly Standard.

The aim of this race was ALWAYS to just stay on the bike, get my racing legs working again, and see how I fared. The main issue I seemed to have throughout was simply moving up the field. It was huge, maybe 60/70 riders. I spent the majority of the race in the top 1/3 of the field, and made a few attempts to move up, at one point on the front with Jake Martin, but that only last 3/4 of a lap before a large group attacked and went off again, at that point I settled into the top 1/3 again, and with some movement up (and down) the field stayed there for the duration of the race.

Ok, so some points to note:
 - My first E123 race. It was quick.
 - I need to practice moving up the field a bit more, and being more aggressive maybe
 - There was obviously some "interesting" riding, as there always is at Hillingdon.

 - 32 miles
 - 1:11 race time.
 - 26.8mph Av

Anyway, all good fun, off to Hog Hill next to master The Hoggenburg!

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