I’ve never felt so relaxed at a race before. Perhaps too relaxed. With half an hour to go I was still sipping hot tea and barely had my stuff together. Maybe this total lack of urgency was some kind of deferred fight or flight reaction? Sometimes I almost fall asleep before a race; (not ideal, especially near barbecues) so this was definitely preferable. Perhaps I’ll just go to the pub instead?
Anyways, we sauntered down to the start. I missed my sign on and contemplated tomorrow night’s curry choice. Then we wobbly trackstanded / slow raced down the high street and we were off. Bam!
And I felt pretty good. So good in fact that I went to the front quite quickly and pretty much stayed there on and off for about 7 hours. Weeeee! This was fun! With a banging new James Zabiela set on my MP3 and my wicked Superfly 100 I just had loads of fun riding my bike fast. Actually it was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long haul race for a long long time. I knew it probably wouldn’t last but I really didn’t care. I kept telling myself to back off a bit but the legs weren’t listening.
The inevitable happened – Dave Powell and Matt Page passed me (at about hour 9 or ten I think?) and then on the 10th lap, the great White Ant went past and I couldn’t respond. There goes the vets win. Hey Ho! I’d had a lovely time.
So I ended up 4th overall and 2nd vet. Not bad. And strangely, not too disappointed. OK, a bit disappointed. But attacking a race like that was a breath of fresh air and I genuinely enjoyed the course, the competition, and the atmosphere. I plan on adopting this race strategy more often in the future and I’m confident that one day it will stick. If anything, it ensured that Ant worked for his coaster ; )
Great respect to Dave Powell. It’s been obvious for a long time that he had ‘a proper good one’ in him for some time. What a day to pull it out the bag and take a big win.
Thanks to Dave from M Steels and Sean from Bertie Maffoons for looking after me and Ant. And thanks to Charlotte for yet again putting up with this nonsense. We brought our son James too; it was his first long haul race. He was in bed by 8. Work needed there then…