Castle Combe Summer Series
22nd July 2014
Report- Keiran Murphy
There was another strong field of about 80 riders. Strong representation by Bath CC, and Cotswolds Veldrijden. Club riders were, Matt Dale, Noel Waldron, Lee Francis and Jason Flooks and Chris Francis. (Lee riding after completing in Iron Man UK on Sunday before). Conditions were hot and glorious summers evening.
Despite Lee saying his legs weren’t perfect, he spent alot of the time at the front of the race, helping to keep the pace high (26.9mph avg for race). Attacks came early. Jason getting involved for a lap or so. I managed to get into a 5 man break, for a lap. We were working well, but the bunch were too strong and reeled us back in. Matt put in a counter attack. The pace was high, and the race was stretched for the most part.
There were too many strong riders though. You could sense it was coming down to a bunch sprint. I came across Flooksie with 4 to go. He offered me his wheel into the finish, and suggested a move to jump out of the bunch in the last corner and take a more direct line to the right hand side of the track. And in his words he was going to “kick hard”, and aim to get to the pit wall with me in tow.
The last lap came and as we approached the final corner, the bunch started to jostle for position. I lost Jason’s wheel and we were both boxed in, but we knew the plan. We both left the bunch at the same time. I bridged over to Jason, and he “kicked hard!”. He gave it full gas down the right hand side of the circuit. It was perfectly timed, the bunch didn’t respond. We had one rider attempt to get on my wheel. He got within a bike length or so. Jason had given it everything, we weren’t at the pit wall, we were about 60m before. I had to go early. I kicked with everything I had. In my head nobody was coming around me. I don’t know what gear it was, but I mashed the life out of it with everything I had.
I could feel the line coming, but I couldn’t sense the lone rider behind anymore. I had a glance over my shoulder. I was well clear. I couldn’t believe it, I had it. I was about to win! Time for a double arms aloft celebration (without falling off).
It was the most unbelievable feeling, and it wouldn’t have happened without Jason’s move and massive turn on the front to slingshot me to the line. A proper team effort!