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Surrey League Road Races - Update

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1 Surrey League Road Races - Update on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 23:40

July 8, 2012 - VO2 Development - Staplefield - 2/3 - 65 miles

I rode this race a couple of weeks before my exams and it is probably my hardest race to date. The course itself was difficult with a couple of big climbs. The weather was also horrendous. It rained torrentially pretty much from start to finish; we had about 5 minutes of dry weather during the near 3 hours of racing.

This was my first 2/3 race in the Surrey League and the step-up in quality was clear pretty much from the off, we absolutely smashed it up some of the climbs. For me it was a case of holding a good position in the front of the field and hanging-on tight!

The weather took its toll with a few early crashes as people slipped on wet roads, and the climbs were also additional. Each ascent required a bit of careful calculation of effort and a bit concentration when rounding dropping riders. By the end there were only about 30 of us left in the main field. One guy, Will Pratt, one of the strongest riders in the League this season solo’d away pretty spectacularly and won. He was followed home by a couple of chasers, and then the bunch at 1min 47s. I gave it a good go up the last climb, but got caught behind a couple of riders, and passed on the inside by a group. I came over 23rd, which to be fair I’ve gotta be pretty pleased about considering the difficultly of the race. I was absolutely shattered.

The results can be found here:


Things really did split up with another group of about 20 odd finishing 14mins down.

Some numbers:
Distance: 107.8km
Elevation: 1,231m
Time: 2Hours 51Mins 22Secs
Average Speed: 37.8km/h


August 12, 2012 - Redhill CC - Norwood Hill - 2/3 - 65 miles

A pretty frustrating affair this one. The course was pretty straight forward, no real climbs to cause any trouble for the field, just a couple of drags. I felt really comfortable all the way round. The speed was quite high and nothing really threatened to happen upfront so I just sat in for the most part of it. About half-way in I tested my legs up the drag and was surprised how easily I managed to spin to the front. I then tried to escape with a couple of guys, but the whole field chased, so I just drifted back into the wheels.

The finish was on a slight incline at the end of the main drag, so I quite fancied my chances of getting in the mix, particularly as I was feeling fresh. However, with about 1 and a half laps to go I punctured, and with no neutral support at these races (not that it would have helped, because pretty much once you’re off the back, that’s it) my race was over. I was pretty disappointed, but it was just one of those things. I’d seen loads of people puncturing over the season and I guess it was just my turn. The positive from the afternoon was how good I felt riding in the group.

Distance: 74.4km
Elevation: 582m
Time: 1Hour 52Mins 12Secs
Average Speed: 39.8km/h


August 19, 2012 - i-Team.cc - Alfold - 2/3 - 62 miles

This race, promoted by one of our more local clubs, i-Team, was on a similar circuit to Norwood Hill the week previous. Again there was no real climbing to be done, just a couple of ramps to keep things interesting. The finish line was also on a downhill, something not very common in the Surrey League where most courses end on the uphill sections.

The first lap was pretty pedestrian as we just rolled out from the neutral zone, but the pace ramped up a bit after that and the peloton was noticeably reduced after a couple of laps. The course or the speed didn’t really cause any difficultly however so it was just a case of rolling along in the group, moving up, then moving back etc. Nothing really happened off the front either that I could see. A few people got away, then the pace ramped up a bit and they came back. It wasn’t until the second to last lap that things got interesting, a group of about 5 pushed off the front, and then the chase was on.

The pace ramped up as riders bridged across the hundred metres or so up the road. I was ready to make the bridge myself as the group swelled, but as it did everything came back together and things slowed right down. One guy had another go, and I’m not sure if he made it for the win. He may well have, but anyhow, I managed to pick my through towards the front-end of the field with the sprint approaching. But it was proving difficult to stay up front with riders constantly coming over the top. The final run-in was pretty fast, but I was too far back to think about challenging for the win. My Dad, who came to watch, thought I was in the points or top 20, but I’m massively sceptical of this as there seemed to be an awful lot of riders ahead of me on the line so we’ll see when the results come out!

Distance: 100.4km
Elevation: 594m
Time: 2Hours 29Minutes 20Seconds
Average Speed: 40.3km/h


All in all it’s been a pretty decent few weeks racing and I’m pretty happy with how things have gone. I’ll maybe do a couple more road races if can before the seasons out, but if not I think this sets things up nicely for next season where hopefully I should be nicely in the mix.

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2 Re: Surrey League Road Races - Update on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 04:35

Hi Andy

Thanks for such a comprehensive update.

Just to let you know, I am planning to field a team of 5-6 'junior' riders next year in BC road races in Hampshire/Dorset. I say 'junior' as they will be ages 17-19 and so will be riding in 4/3/J events. Quite a lot of activity has been seen down the Mountbatten track this year and Dave Gwilliam has run a number of coaching sessions. Both Rob Allen and I intend to become BC coaches ourselves next year too so you can see that you are not a lone jersey out there!



Remember when teachers, police officers, nurses, doctors, rank+file civil servants, firefighters and lollipop ladies crashed the stock market, wiped out banks, took billions in bonuses and paid no tax? No, me neither.
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3 Re: Surrey League Road Races - Update on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 21:48

AndyCarter wrote:July 8, 2012 - VO2 Development - Staplefield - 2/3 - 65 miles

All in all it’s been a pretty decent few weeks racing and I’m pretty happy with how things have gone. I’ll maybe do a couple more road races if can before the seasons out, but if not I think this sets things up nicely for next season where hopefully I should be nicely in the mix.

Very Happy Well done Andy, good effort and keep going. I'm going for Level 3 with RTT as specialisation so sometime next year you'll have the added benefit of a one-to-one coach once qualified. Keep going mate I know it's often lonely out there but the way the club is progressing you may have future company? alien

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