Another bright sunny but cold day (5ºC) with a blustery west wind. The long shadows even at 1pm served as a reminder that we are close to the shortest day. After last week's experience we started with a lecture on safe riding but I am afraid there were crashes in both the 3rd and 4th cat races again. The one in the 3rd cat race unfolded before my eyes on the short uphill section between the right hand and left hand bends. Started as a wobble near the front and got amplified so that the rider a few back had nowhere to go but the grass where I believe he at least got a soft landing. The woman in the 4th cat race [correction: I see from Lucy's report she was in our race, I had not noticed] was not so fortunate and was lying on the circuit for several of our laps. I hope she is ok.
The racing seemed fast today. Again we did not catch the 4th cats, but at least they did not catch us either. There were some spirited breaks and we were lined out at several points as the pace increased to get them back. A good race though not for me personally. I punctured with one and a half laps to go. I now take spare wheels with me but you cannot have a lap out to change your wheel with under 5 laps to go. I fell rapidly off the back as my rear tyre deflated. I had hoped there would be sufficient air left for me to finish the race but at half a lap to go I was onto the rims. I was not going to ride my racing wheels on the rims so I walked the last half lap both to finish and to pick up my spare wheel at the hut.
My stats will be a bit out because of the puncture but from the start to when I started walking: .
52 mins at 23.8 mph, max 29.2mph.
I stayed to watch a teammate in the following E/1/2/3 race.