Obviously with the Tour underway the thoughts of many of us turn to racing. Anyone who followed my reports of the Winter Series will have gained the fair impression that I am a lot more enthusiastic than talented. This is my third season. In my first (2008) I scored 2 points with an 8th place in a torrential downpour; last season I managed 2nd in a 'Go-Race' after a long 2 man break but 'Go-Races' do not really count and I got no points all season. In my last etape preparation report I proudly boasted a 9th place and 1 point in a Circuit Race at Hillingdon.
Last weekend I picked up 7 points. 1 for a 10th place at Dunsfold following a long, but ultimately unsuccessful, 2 man break with the guy who was strongest in the race (he proved that by winning the bunch sprint); then on Sunday I kicked myself for missing the 3 man break in roaring winds at the Omega Thornley Island Circuits, but managed to get in the second break of 3 and outsprinted the other two for 4th place and 6 points.
A flash in the pan? - or am I finally finding some racing legs? - time will tell though time is already running out for me this season with the etape and the (for me, non-cycling) summer holiday.
For the uninitiated, at the lowest level of British Cycling 10 points are required for promotion from a 4th category to a 3rd category rider. The rules are deliciously vague about whether these points need to be acquired in any particular time; but since many take the view they should be acquired in one season I shall continue a 4th cat as long as I can, whilst still trying to do the best I can in races.
My recent focus on racing may backfire at the etape if I go off like a rocket and lose all oomph after a few hours.