Six TCC riders, windy, no breaks, a big crash on the last lap, Les may have been near the points from my vantage point lying on the ground.

Eighty riders including six from TCC. Myself, Alex Toghill, Bill, Alex Jones, Les Wuziak and Elwyn Powell stepping up to sample the faster pace. A big field and a fast pace from the off. New bike to save watts and a gel to help provide them. Thirty five laps on the counter and we go. Clockwise. I’ve never raced this way without a crash.

Thread my way to the top third. Les follows. A few breaks, but lots of chasing. I’m on the front of the chasing bunch briefly.  Milestone Five. Alex T and Alex J both move up. Riding is fast, but only one or two losses of concentration. There’s a prime at 20 laps which Alex J goes for. Bill joins us as the lap board counts down fast. Half way, surely not. The bike feels great. Responding to every acceleration down the wind-assisted straight.

Ten laps to go and a second gel. I’m still top third and not falling back when the pace rises. Les tries for a break with five to go. Five in the bunch but they can’t stay away. Alex T is close. TCC are certainly up there with two to go. The bell rings. Last lap. I’m 15th and placed well as we head up the straight past the finish line.

I’m down!!!! Alex T is pushed into me and we have nowhere to go. The peloton decided they would all cut across from the left for the first bend of the final lap. We’re all squashed despite being close to the front. I hit the deck at 28 mph. On top of the bike. Pain. Roll into a ball and hope sixty following riders will miss me.

I watched the finish lying on the tarmac. The pain is dreadful. Some road rash, but there is a lot of blood under my shorts. Alex is worse, having landed on his head.  Another rider is staying down, but two got up. I have the deadest of legs. Well done Elwyn for finishing in the bunch in a much bigger and faster race than Cat4. I didn’t see you come over the line; I was in too much pain. Eventually after some emergency treatment I rise and limp slowly back to the club house for the medicinal properties of a hot beverage, a bun and more first aid. Thanks to Les’s dad for carrying my broken bike and the ladies for patching me up before I went to A&E

Well I must have been due a crash this far into my racing career. The bike survived; fork scratched, front tyre shredded, wheel slightly buckled, bar tape ripped, pedal ground down (alarmingly). But the first scratch is the deepest. Talking of deep, I have a nice handlebar shaped hole in my leg that has eight fat steri-stiches. It has almost stopped bleeding. Alex has some nasty road rash and a very sore elbow. I hope it isn’t fractured, and the need of a new helmet and jersey. UPDATE: Alex has a fractured elbow and will require an operation to pin. I hope all goes well and you make a swift recovery.

That’s racing. Onto the next. Veterans racing starts in just over a week. Anti-clockwise.

Kind regards,

Daren

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