Imperial Winter Series 2009/10: 4th Cat, 13 February 2010

The final race of the series which has been incredibly well organised in trying conditions, both meteorological and logistical.

The former has come on the form of snow, torrential rain and freezing gales. The latter in the form of crashes and riders who don’t always do as they are instructed.

OK, that’s me filibustering to avoid having to write about getting dropped. Shouldn’t have happened, simple as that. I left myself out in the strong headwind for too long and paid the price.

Nor should me ambling off the front at a gentle pace for the first lap. All I did was roll off the start and down the righthander. Looked around and nobody had come with me.

Got to the final 90 degree corner before the bunch reappeared just as I hit the block headwind. Weird experience racing with no one for company. Note to self: avoid individual time trials.

Back to getting dropped. It was one of those slow but predictable affairs, like watching a child’s 99 slide off the cone on a hot day. I slid through the group, clung on a bit then the engine room went for a tea break and I was off the back and hurting (pride more than legs).

I got back on when I was eventually lapped and had no problem staying in. I even offered to drag Lance Woodman up to the front towards the end for want of some excitement before sitting out the sprint.

Why do I do it given my ridiculously mediocre record? Because it’s fun and it keeps me motivated to ride. Martin Porter sums it up when he says

“I may never get a point but it is nonetheless rewarding”

In fact his post is a really good read about why the winter series is good to do and should be supported.

I’d like to offer a massive thank you to Doug, Lucy and the rest of the Collins gang who put themselves through the misery of having to deal with riders who just want to race. Organising something like the Winter Series is a massive commitment which few in cycling have the energy to do well. Those few should always be appreciated and celebrated.

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