West Thames Crit Series E123 – Hillingdon

The less said about this one the better I guess. Cruised over to Hillingdon into a fairly strong wind, complete with legs feeling worse for wear after no rest day on Monday. Signed on and headed out to the circuit to get some laps in. The first time I’d raced on the circuit clockwise, which felt a bit odd at first.

As a 3rd Cat my hopes for the race were just to stay in touch with the bunch for as long as possible. We started off and I immediately found the pace ok, sprinting out of the corners was a given, but I was for the most part riding within myself, and moving well in the bunch towards the front third of the pack. There were numerous attacks going off, none of which I was going to be in, I was never going to be that strong. After a short while a group of four got a decent gap, with a Twickenham rider and a Pedalheaven guy too. After about 20mins I started to feel my rear wheel going soft in the corners, which felt odd. Up the back straight asked someone to look at it, and sure enough it was punctured and going down, albeit reasonably slowly. But the last thing I wanted was to roll it off the wheel on a hard corner, so I sat up and completed the lap before exiting the circuit. Gutted as I felt I was going well up until that point, which had surprised me.

Managed to inflate the tyre then hammered it home which was at least an ok workout, and the tyre stayed relatively ok until I got home, but was quickly flat after that.

Overall pleased to have been able to keep up for the time I was there, although I wonder if Pedalheavan and other teams with people in the break may have been slowing things down a touch. However the average speed is way higher than anything I’ve done before so perhaps not. The wind also probably helped slow the bunch up at certain points, which would have helped me stay in the mix. 

Really need to start taking spare wheels to races (tough when you ride there) or just start using gatorskin tubs or something.

Strava link: https://www.strava.com/activities/303247612

Avg/NP: 276w/285w

Avg Speed: 27.7mph

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