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Fareham Wheelers Road Race - 15th April 2012

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I love it when a plan comes together....needless to say this one didn't but hopefully it still makes for an interesting read and there's a video of the finish if you scroll all the way to the bottom Very Happy

My blog.

Well done Andy, best placed PNE. Haven't met anyone who didn't admit it was a hard race!

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Well you can take pride in being the fastest dropped rider. I always do Laughing. (Although the getting dropped wasn't technically your fault.)

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Charlie96 wrote:Well you can take pride in being the fastest dropped rider. I always do Laughing. (Although the getting dropped wasn't technically your fault.)

You better watch it Charlie, according to Paul, puncturing on the first lap of a road race gets a nana award nomination.

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Firstly, thanks for everyone who turned up to watch Sunday, I saw a lot of PNE jerseys lining the route and every shout of encouragement really was much appreciated. It was great to have so much support so thank you!

It was indeed a tough race Jerry, unlucky with your puncutre, I would not have enjoyed riding solo all afternoon, but good effort for sticking it out! That makes certain you didn't get a DNF, and they'll give you a finishing place! All the road races that I've ridded have been tough, but this one a bit more so due to the fact that the course is quite challenging and that strong wind we had to contend with. Here's the race from my perspective:

Once the the race was deneutralised I looked to move as far up the peloton as I could without burning too many matches as I wanted a good position on the first climb. I wasn't too concerned by the climb itself, but it was the drag along the top Portsdown where I wanted to be out of trouble. I was probably about mid-pack when we hit the climb and the pace wasn't too high so things were still very much together at the head of the race when we got to the top. It was the drag and the cross wind along Portsdown which really caused some damage though. People who left gaps in the wheels soon found that 6 inches became 12, 12 inches soon became a bike length, after which you were dropped. I worked pretty hard to keep out of the wind and managed to remain in the front group. There were splits behind and there was definitely one and maybe two groups further back down the road chasing, but things came back together again on the descent back towards Southwick.

Lap two was pretty much the same story, the climb was okay but as we came back out onto Portsdown again we shed another lot of riders in the wind. It was also at this point when about 15 guys worked their way off the front, and they were gone for the rest of the day. I think there were maybe about 30/40 riders in group 2 after they'd gone and we chased for lap but the wind was just taking too much of a toll and things eventually settled. Things were pretty steady from then on, but we still seemed to lose a few more riders each lap. By about the 4th lap the group was so small I was convinced another chase group of about 20 riders were going to catch back on at some point.

Going into the final lap someone on the front of the group lit some fireworks and attacked up the hill. This move shattered the whole group which was now at the very most 30 riders. We all crossed the finish line into the final lap in 1's, 2's and 3's. Luckily though for about 20 guys things came back together at the turning onto Portdown, but that was it for me. I chased solo and kept the gap at about 50m-100m and was joined by a couple of other riders at the driving test centre. We worked through and off, but the wind kept us from making and real head-way. The head-wind on the descent didn't help either and although we did get very close to rejoining the group at one point, we just couldn't shut done those final 50 meters. So that was pretty much the race for me. I had a bit of fun getting attacked and counter attacking with the chasers through Boarhunt and crossed the line in I think 36th place.

It was another really enjoyrable race, and I think another step in the right direction as I rode the same event last year and got dropped on about the 3rd lap.

Also, as with last year the overall organisation and marshalling was second to none, so well done to Dave Young and the Fareham Wheelers for putting on another stellar event.

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Oh and I forgot to say! Dave! Love the pictures on the website! Wicked!

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