I headed down to Ludgershall for the final round of the Upavon Winter series, again the purpose was some speed work on what looks like a ‘safe’ circuit. When I say ‘safe’, obviously when you put 2 or more cyclists together and someone says ‘GO’ anything can happen !
On arrival at the Military base, I sign in and make my way to the track. Now due to the opticial illusion the long finishing straight looks like a long climb and after several times climbing I guess this will lead to splits and relentless attacks. In reality, it turns out to be the angle that it is initially viewed (phew) and although a slight slope, it shouldn’t feel like a climb at all and so it proved ;)
Just over 30 riders are signed up for the 3rds only race and I line up alongside team-mate Andy Overton and George Burgess (Gannet CC) From the off, a strong attack is attempted by one of the many ‘juniors’ present which sets the tone for the rest of the race !
There are many attacks and very few lulls / sitting up of any length of time which I quickly conclude will probably lead to a predictable bunch sprint. Not that the juniors are thinking that way. Despite the constant attacks none of them gain more than 30 metres before they get reeled in, for another rider to try their luck, the circuit due to not having any ‘dead’ turns is proving very safe
Andy, George and myself had stayed, in the main, within the first 10 riders but as we cross the finish line with 4 laps to go poor George Burgess suffers a puncture, riders were allowed a lap out up until 3 to go but with not enough time to get back around to the pits, his day was done
From about 2 laps to go the pace stays fairly constantly high and just before the bell it is notched up as riders are eagar to maintain their position for the relatively short finishing straight. I change down a gear, get baulked slightly in the final corner but pull on the bars, heave on the cranks and find myself making progress to finish a respectful 6th and team-mate Andy, after a nervous wait, while judges work out places, gets 8th
20 miles at an average of 25.7mph which was a nice work out, with no crashes RESULT