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Make benefit glorious nation of Poland!

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What a great weekend for the team. For me it started pretty badly though, I went to ride the event on the national TT course on Saturday where I managed to make a fairly comprehensive list of classic TT errors. I did what I usually do for open TTs these days which is to go and ride the entire course beforehand. It's a good way of learning the course (which was actually necessary for this particular one, it had corners and everything), getting a warm up and also getting an OK number of miles in on the day. As a rule I prefer spending less time in the car than on my bike at the weekend.

I arrived with plenty of time and rode the course, that part was fine at least, then I had to drive to the HQ which was 6 miles away on the other side of the A1. This caused me to drive a single junction of the A1 (thanks twat nav...), the junction I had to get off of was closed and so I was diverted far enough that I became extremely low on time. I got my number, pinned it on, changed my wheels, drove back (like Sebastien Loeb) to near the start, overtaking more organised riders on the way. I parked on a verge and rode to the start with only a couple of minutes to spare. I proceeded to ride the first 10 minutes way too hard and then the rest not nearly hard enough in the red. I also made the mistake of looking at my power meter too often which totally played with my head. Wattage was disappointingly low and so I left slightly dejected...

Then on Sunday we drove to Kent to ride the Toachim GP to try and get our greedy track mitts on the 1000 prize for winning. In the car park beforehand I was approached by the illustrious Nicolas Hutchings (who since coming 4th at the tour of Kent a couple of months ago became vets national RR champ) who congratulated me on winning the TT yesterday, which was a genuine surprise. It was only by a slim 20 or so seconds, In fact I wouldn't be surprised if I had basically won it on the corners alone. Nice confidence boost for the race.

The event itself started briskly, with 7 laps of an almost 20k loop, the same one used by the Wally Gimber race earlier in the year. It was fairly manic and in the first half only one break formed, taking a pretty fragile lead, everything was being kept relatively in check for Woj and I by Rowan and Mark though. Then at around half distance there was a crash whilst the bunch was strung out along the gutter which managed to chop the back end of the bunch away. Rowan and I avoided it but Woj had to chase to get back on. Mark was caught up in it and later abandoned. Half a lap later I decided to ride as hard as I could from the bottom to the top of the climb through Woodchurch, which brought us down to a break of 16 riders. We didn't work brilliantly together but we worked better than the chasers, so our gap grew. Woj and I were there along with a couple of Orbeas and a couple of WyndyMillas, the only other big team to have missed the split appeared to be Felt. In traditional National B fashion no one attacked until the last lap where a flurry began. The winning trio of riders formed a few kilometres before the climb, with around 2/3s of a lap to go. Wojciech, Chris Macnamara (Corley) and Tom Copeland (Sigma Sport) clipped away to contest the podium. I defended and eventually found myself sitting on a chase group of 5 who never managed to hunt the lead trio down. Tactically the race went like clockwork, it couldn't really have gone much better to be honest, it's a great feeling to ride in this way, particularly considering how bad we were at it at the beginning of the season. But cycling is only successful when good team riding is backed up by good individual riding and so it was down to Wojciech to finish the job, which he did admirably, clipping off with around 2k to go for a brilliant solo victory. I strongly suspect Woj will have his choice of UK teams for next year if he so wishes. It is only his second season of racing and in that time he has become a very strong (and experienced) rider indeed.

Here is the report:

In other news I'll be leaving for Italy on Saturday to finish the season with Meridiana-Kamen, who are based in Polla, yes the roads on streetview and the hills around there look awesome. I don't know the exact calendar but I am expecting to ride UCI races pretty much exclusively until the end of the season in mid October. I have never ridden a UCI 1.1 or 2.1 race before and would relish the opportunity to do so, I'm a bit apprehensive, not really sure what to expect but at the very least it should be a memorable (and highly blogworthy) experience.

I also should say that it was my last day working at Primo Cycles today, which marks the end of an era. I never intended to be there for nearly 2 years but in the end it was a great experience, when I think about how it has improved and changed since I first arrived it's quite amazing really. So, I shall just say a brief thanks to Steve (his ego is large enough already) for taking me on, it's been emotional. It's actually very difficult to find an employer who will allow you to work part time and then occasionally disappear for weeks on end in order to race and train. So I am extremely grateful for that in particular, I suspect I won't be able to get a job with a similar arrangement when I return.

Another great piece of news is that our Kiwi sprinter, Alex "pint-sized-piston-legs" Ray managed to net himself a stage in the Tour of Gippsland back in Oz for his team Pure Black Racing and the most aggressive rider prize over all:, -yes- that is pretty much as high as he can reach... and an article about the jersey: Congrats Alex.

Oh yeah, we got paid in cash at Toachim, which enabled us to get a couple of good snaps. Woj won enough money to go home and buy his entire village in Poland, or one week's supply of potatoes, one of the two anyway. Please continue with your own Polish/generic Eastern European stereotypes below.

Here are some photos from a professional photographer: There are some particularly good ones of Woj towards the end, he held on for 2k without much of a gap!

Please read this hilarious blog post from BSYNC:

Oh, and this is what happens if you park your car in the bike lane in Lithuania: Thats the local Mayor by the way...
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Updated 02-08-2011 at 10:50 PM by David Mclean

2011 - Pasta Montegrappa Zheroquadro


  1. ChrisB's Avatar
    Ahem, I think you'll find Dr 'Chings is MASTERS champion, rather than Vets. Don't think he's even 35 yet...
  2. David Mclean's Avatar
    I stand corrected, he certainly looked masterful coasting away from us down the hills on his super deep wheels.