Friday, 1 July 2016

RAS de Cymru: Stage 3 - Cowbridge

This was a new circuit for the RAS, and not one I had ridden before. With that in mind we arrived with enough time to drive the circuit. Seemed fairly tame, a few hills, but nothing like the previous day. Today was best described as rolling. 54 miles in total, 3 laps with a hill finish of the A48.

First section of the course was on the A48, fast, wide and plenty of opportunities to pass meant there were plenty of attacks. I was keen to ensure I was near the front all race so made my way up with some of these moves. A little dig off the front with a rider from Audlem saw a gap appear, I did think for a brief moment, "ah, maybe we can TT this for 50 miles" before quickly rethinking that as a group joined us and they attacked... I sat in the bunch for the rest of the lap, the pace didn't seem too high and my heart rate for the first 25 miles was only 151bpm (144bpm for the last 25 miles) that said, unlike yesterday this course had less opportunities to rest and stop pedaling due to the descents. Coming onto the second lap and going up the slip road onto the A48 I was feeling it, thankfully it seemed everybody else was, so the pace was slow. Maybe everybody was just saving themselves for the TT in the afternoon? There was however a break of about 10 up the road. The bunch didn't really seem to be making much of a dent into their time, so I moved up after the KOM section with the sole aim to catch the break. I dug pretty deep here, perhaps too deep, but I managed to bridge across and joined the back, unfortunately I appeared to bring most of the bunch with me, at which point there was another attack. My legs said no. I drifted back a few places and settled into the pace for the last lap. Now 7 riders up the road, despite that, and despite it being the last lap it was the slowest of the three so far at only 25.1mph ave. Maybe I could have pushed a bit harder, maybe I could have got off the front, I doubt i'd have caught the break who had 1 minute. Either way, I didn't and sat in the bunch towards the front, good positioning coming into the final 3 km, but then getting cut up on the tight left hand bend pushed me back. Off the course now and onto the A48 dual carriageway hill finish. This was pretty cool, with the NEG riders running a  rolling road block at this section, very pro. The surface was crap, riders were all over the place, but more importantly I was dead (thanks to a Finchley rider for pointing that out) he was right though, thankfully everybody else was and I picked my way through the bunch, finally finishing in the top 20.

I was hopeful for some time gaps to be opened up, but that wasn't to be and most of the bunch got the same time. Now sitting at 30th in GC with the TT in the afternoon...

No comments:

Post a Comment