How wet was Hillingdon?

(Picture by Dennis Sackett – for

I finished 11th, my best finish of the season. Unfortunately it’s one outside of the points and, with only 13 starters, I should have done considerably better by my own expectations. Maybe it was just one of those days.

I was going well to start with, staying near the front and putting in a couple of digs as well as covering and watching any other moves. It would have been tough to get a break going with so few riders to work with but it was good to test a few legs and see how I was feeling. I felt not bad, a point was in my grasp.

Then just after the E123s had come past for the first time the pace went up a bit and I let a tiny gap appear. I tried to close it and the rider in behind me promised to come through off the bend. He did but my legs just wouldn’t give me any more to go with him. It was like being stuck on the rev limiter and not able to shift up. I gave it a boot and nothing.

Slowly the bunch started to move away from me as the “elastic” flapped wildly in the wind as I tried to get back on. I thought about packing and going home before I remembered there were 13 starters and I was sure that they weren’t all in front of me. Head down, plough on, you might pick off one of them.

A couple of laps of shouting at commissaires established I was 12th. Then I saw another rider pulling off the circuit with a puncture. Result, up to 11th, now to catch the next one. I was sure I was closer than I thought so got my head down and kept the cadence high even into the headwind while trying not to lose it in the wet.

It didn’t happen but I rode on anyway trying to make a decent training session out of the ride. At some point my back seized up something rotten. It’s still sore this morning. I wonder if it’s not a side-effect of riding fixed and having to use my core a bit more. I really need to get that sorted for next season or figure out a stretching and massage regime that will minimise its effect on my riding.

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