Following on from Elwyn’s earlier report, I rode this afternoon’s final E123 race of the season, otherwise known as “The Jake and Lewis Show”.
After a ride into the bushes on the penultimate lap last week (blameless, but nowhere to go!), and a finish that only just failed to trouble the scoresheet the week before, I entered this afternoon’s race as the sole TCC rider, with legs still stinging from 198 RPM (albeit from “only” 46 seconds of riding). Teams from CSE and Windymilla, along with Elite riders Jake Martin and Lewis Atkins, meant that this race was always going to be of the more “interesting” variety.
True to form, Jake attacks on the first lap and gets 50m, we chase and I take a position in the top 10. He attacks again, well you get the message. Lewis and a few others join in for counter attacks into the headwind, along the straight, and through the bends. We counter and bridge each attack, but  maintaining position on near the front is taking its toll. Lap 17 and I’m on the front, a look back and I’ve been allowed off the front with another rider. We gain about 70m but are brought back after one and a half laps. Then Jake, Lewis and Windy make the definitive attack through Brian’s Bends and are away.
Some disorganized riding and the peloton starts to fragment into groups. Eventually we get it back together after some hard catch-up efforts to stay on (it is SO much easier to stay near the front than chase to catch up) and finally some organization and a concerted effort by CSE (with blocking from Windy) and other riders. We work hard to try and bring them back – or at least keep them in sight. I take a turn into the wind – 500W down the straight. And promptly blow up! – to the back of the bunch for “recovery time”, four laps later I’m making my way back up. As we catch Windy – just Jake and Lewis away, and a bunch sprint is settled for.
Sign says three to go – that was fast – a speedy gel and a defensive position. Two to go and I’m feeling cautious after last week’s trip over the bars into the bushes! But the pace is much faster (and safer). I drop a couple of places to about 20th and try to make them up into Brian’s Bends for the last time. Much safer than last week. I catch a wheel from Finchley and change up for the sprint. Legs are screaming but there is some acceleration and I pass three riders (two juniors who have already raced). May have made top 15, and am delighted (and thoroughly beaten up) by this end-of-season Hillingdon performance.
And well done to Elwyn, Adam and Neil. Good practice for the forthcoming Circuit Championship on Sunday October 12th at 10 AM. Having missed the previous two years, I hope to make this one!
There is still plenty of circuit racing about for your diary:
  1. Some races in Stratford this coming Wednesday at Lee Valley and Saturday October 4th
  2. Surrey league at Cyclopark, Gravesend on Sunday October 12th (clashes with Club Circuit Championship)
  3. There is one further Hillingdon race listed at the moment (no Points Grabber series) but the BIG Events Race #7 on Saturday October 25th
  4. Not to mention our very own Surrey League Ottershaw series
Finally, the much anticipated Imperial Winter Series gets started on December 6th, with a series of eight races next season:
December 2014
Saturday 6th, 13th & 20th (followed by Christmas break)
January 2015
Saturday 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st
February 2015
Saturday 7th & 14th
Kind regards,

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