This ought to have been the fifth in the series but due to the freezing weather has been only the second that has been run. Temperature 8°C with a light wind and persistent drizzle which combined with the mud on the circuit (cyclocross?) to leave riders and their bikes smeared brown from top to tyre.
I arrived in time to watch my two teammates in the 4th cat race start before readying myself for my race which started one hour later and was run simultaneously with the women’s race.
Not surprisingly, given that this was New Year’s Day, numbers were subdued and I guess there were about 20 on the start line. Perhaps we had all overindulged and undertrained over the Christmas period (I know I had) as, for the most part, a fairly sedate pace was set. We set off fast, hitting 30 mph on the second lap, and initially passed the ladies. However we then eased considerably getting in the way of the women, particularly one very strong rider who was on a solo break and travelling at a steady pace, passing us when we relaxed and being passed when we put in the occasional effort.
My aim again was to finish, and when the pace slowed again at 5 laps to go I thought, with nothing to lose, I might as well pull off the front and see what happened. Nothing did, and I was duly returned exhausted to the bunch and hung on in there to come in at the back of the bunch.
25.5 miles in 1h07m at an average of 22.8 mph.