Sunday, 12 June 2011

The longest day in Yorkshire.

Driving my way up to Yorkshire to hit the dales at Ryedale Grand Prix, the 3rd round of the Premier Calendar series. At 181km it is the longest race I have yet done. Okay, it's not anything in comparison to Milan-San Remo but it's the 2nd longest single day race in the UK (The longest being the National Championships this year, at 190km). This combined with the fact that I'll be racing against the best cyclists in the country made me feel just a little apprehensive, but a little nervousness is healthy right?

Looking over the course it seemed to suit me, with lots of dragging hills (I would prefer them a little steeper and longer, but I'm happy it's not flat all the same!).

On the right, alongside eventual winner Jon Tiernan Locke.
Early on in the race I found myself in a breakaway split of about 20 riders, made up of riders from the various teams and I secretly hoped it would stay away. However a few kilometers later we were reeled back in, obviously those who can dictate the race were not happy with the riders in this particular break. About 60km in and the significant large break of the day went ahead, sadly I found myself too far back in the peloton at this point to have a chance at being in it which was a shame, but there was still a race to be run.

After some heavy chasing that wasn't making it across, the race settled down and continued to ride toward the finish, accepting that the top 40 or so positions were gone. I continued to use the race as practice, the pace was still fairly high but it becme rather uneventful.

Entering the final 3km of the race I was still feeling okay, and a few riders wishing to test their mettle to beat the bunch in. All were unsuccessful as the final kilometre drag pulled back the final rider, the front end raising the pace for a bunch sprint into the grounds of Duncombe Park, where I came about 5th in final push. It turned out that the pace had fractured the group up the drag so the bunch 'sprint' was now no longer so much of a bunch.

Checking out the result I had come in the top 50, not bad for a Premier Calendar although disappointing that bad positioning at the right time had cost me a better position. All in all it's experience for the future rounds of the Premier Calendar, next up is Tour of the Reservoir on the 19th June, but first is my debut into the Tour series at Oldham. Looking forward to it!