Storridge, Worcester, 19th August 2012
Due to the weather my entry to this race was always going to be a last-minute-decision affair, however, my 2 young sons (aged Oli, 8yrs & Josh, 11yrs) were keen to take part so I booked my place via the British Cycling website, even though it said only Neil Haywood from Torq was racing in the Elite category. Regardless of the competition though I was really keen to get my new Run & Ride team kit on following my recent transfer.
We all had to get there for 12pm as the boys were racing at 12.30pm. It makes me so proud that they love to come along, race & generally just take part in the race events as well as the training we do locally. Josh finished 5th
& Oli managed 7th
place respectively in their race
Pre-race Josh sorted out our Radio Flyer trailer with bottles & support kit while I met up with fellow Vet Phil Blacker, the Fire fighting Mountain bike World Champion, to do a pre lap with his dog to get some lines. It reminded me of going out with my dogs over the years & them putting me through my paces on Cannock Chase.
With Josh all set and the bottles ready I got on the front line and was ready to go at 2pm. From the gun I managed to lead only for Chris Taylor to pass me on a slipup on the corner as he took the wide line. Chris is a great guy I have the pleasure of racing local and nationally. We sat together for a while on this great circuit, going past former Downhill MTB World Champ, Tracy Moseley, who was marshalling. Chris led for the first lap which was 55 seconds under the elite times (according to Strava) , then I managed to pass him on the climb near the end of lap one and pushed ahead. We got a pace going together and chatted a little on the way round as we got a great lead. I led for 2 laps he was happy to sit behind then came past me on a decent and I followed close behind knowing I was going to be stronger on the finishing climbs, I just had to stay on his wheel. He slid into the corner (because of his BMX training days), then I put the hammer down to go past him on an easy climb before the switchback section. I knew if I could hold it steady then put the pressure on him when hitting the straight until the penultimate climb then a short switchback section, I’d be in a good position going into the final sharp climb. I also knew, thanks to the pre-lap with the dog, that I could have a good gap to hold steady & sprint to the finishing line to take the win. Phil Blacker also podiumed in 3rd place.
Overall I was very happy with the my first outing for the Run and Ride Performance Team, I couldn’t have asked for more than a victory in good conditions and on a decent circuit. Thanks to my 2nd
place in the series a few months back I’ve managed to finish 3rd
overall. Love it!
The Strava stats from this ride are available here: http://www.strava.com/rides/19179436.
Nick is currently in 3rd
position in the Vets Category for the Nationals Points Competition & is the reigning Midlands Regional Vets Champion for 2012.
You can follow Nick on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/iappleman14
& follow his progress via his own site here: www.nickpopham.co.uk