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Surrey League Update

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1 Surrey League Update on Sun 14 Apr 2013, 03:08

Well, since its chucking it down with rain... again... and for once I'm not actually out in it owing to a well timed rest day, I thought I'd post an update of how things have gone over the last couple of weekends in the Surrey League.

March 30, 2013 - CC Basingstoke - Milland Hill - 2/3 - 63 miles

A couple of weekends ago, Jerry and I took the start for CC Basingstoke's round on the tough Milland Hill course, arguably the hardest of the Surrey League circuit owing to the 9 ascents of the 25% Milland Hill, from which the circuit gets its name. I rode in the 3rd cat race last year and got distanced when things broke up on the final lap finishing about 30-something, so I knew we were in for a pretty tough day. From that experience though I knew how important it would be to stay up towards the front of the field each time we hit hill, and since everyone had that same idea the first lap, as ever, was pretty hectic and we charged into the climb. I had a lapse of concentration on lap 2, where I got myself caught at the back, but fortunately was able to close down the gaps over the top of the hill. The break of 5 or 6 went shortly after this, and they stayed away all day, on a tough course that was a great ride by those guys. A few moves went on the last two laps, I wound things up a little to get into one, but it got brought back pretty quickly. These efforts were pretty costly though and I did have to dig deep to stay in contention on the last lap. The break was nearly caught, some good riding by a couple of guys brought the gap down to an agonising 200 or so meters. I was in contention for the final points up the hill the final time with the peloton splitting, but I didn't quite have enough left in the tank to push things and contest the sprint so I finished 22nd. 9 times up that hill really took its toll!

Strava file of the race is here: http://app.strava.com/activities/46530430

April 6, 2013 - Addiscombe CC - Bletchingley - 2/3 - 60 miles

I'd not ridden this circuit, but I'd heard it was pretty tough from a few people who had, they did however have to shorten the lap taking out what is apparently a wicked steep climb which might have made the course a bit easier, because I actually didn't think it was too bad, despite the 1,350m of climbing we did during the day. What was bad though, were the first two laps, a lot of people seemed to be panicking about being dropped early on which led to some pretty sketchy riding in the bunch. During this early chaos a massive break of 11 riders got away, I completely missed this as the crazed conditions made it very hard to navigate the bunch safely. Despite the fact there were some team contingents in the race, no one chased and the size of the move pretty much killed off the race. When two riders hopped off the front on a longish drag with with two laps to go, I attacked to join them, and a couple of others came with me, but the bunch rode us down before a corner. Hindsight suggests that I should have persevered with this because up the next drag 6 guys did get a gap which they kept until the end, picking up the last of points. I had one more go to get away, I attacked over the top of the penultimate climb, but could get a good gap on the descent and pretty much just ended up leading everyone out up the final climb to the finish, I held on to place 30th in the end.

Strava here: http://app.strava.com/activities/47618881

Overall though, a pretty constructive few weeks of racing, and I guess the positions show the reality of things. Clear progress on last year owing to the fact that I'm there or there about's at the finish, but not quite strong enough yet to challenge the top guys at this level and get into points and contest for wins. Thus, the work goes on.

Unfortunately there isn't much road racing until Milbury's in next month, so I'll be down Mountbatten each week chipping away at things there. I might try and squeeze in a Hillingdon or a midweek handicap though if time permits, we'll see...

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2 Re: Surrey League Update on Sun 14 Apr 2013, 04:23

Hillingdon is fun, scored 8 points in e/1/2 races there so far this season and have been agonisingly close to solo victories twice!

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3 Re: Surrey League Update on Sun 14 Apr 2013, 04:33

Smart, yeah its either there or Hog Hill which is quite close to where I live in East London, so will probably check that out when I'm working back up there.

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