First again on P341 and First Aggregate Competition Win

Posted on 6th Jun 2017

The Thorny Hill Circuit is one of my favourite courses; a little technical, picturesque and a lumpy. Its raced by the NFCC as part of a 2 leg aggregate and I'd won the first leg on a cold night a few weeks before. If I was achieve one of my seasons goals, I was going to have to race the 2nd leg in gale force gusts. Much of the route is sheltered except for the first mile which is an exposed, fast downhill stretch buffeted by crosswinds. I had well over a minute advantage from the first leg and my closest rival, Stuart Peckham was starting a minute in front. Therefore I decide to roll down this stretch reasonably slowly and essentially start racing on the flat section before it started climbing to Burley. Luckily Pound Lane was negotiated safely and went about trying to catch Stuart. From Burley the course rises and falls up to Crow Moor, crosses Crow Moor and then descends Crow Hill. Again, this was a little sketchy in the wind so easy does it. After Crow, its along the valley floor towards Bransgore before turning left up to the finish at the top of Braggers Lane. I could see Stuart heading towards Bransgore so riding conservatively wasn't an issue. Stewart Ward however had different ideas and was apparently 8 seconds quicker than me at the bottom of Braggers. It didn't matter. I set off up the Braggers after Peckham before getting stuck behind a camper van, patiently waiting behind others riders. After a brief pause, I kicked past them both and a couple more riders for good measure before crossing the finish. In the end, I'd made up 10 seconds over Ward on the hill despite the camper. I'd won the race by 2 seconds and the aggregate competition by nearly 2 minutes. I was pleased with the competition win which should give me something to collect at the club dinner and just as pleased to get around safely.