Downton 2018 and NFCC RR Trophy retained.
Posted on 8th Oct 2018
The Downton two day is a great event but after returning from 2 weeks holiday in the sun, I found myself driving to Downton in the cold and rain hoping this year's race was postponed or cancelled. In fact I rode the hill climb with a rain jacket and seriously considered doing so for the road race. In the end I decided the best way to keep warm was to push on and did so until the main bunch caught up with a mile to go. Reflecting after warming up at HQ, it appeared that although the road race was uninspiring, no great damage was done and I was about 90 seconds behind the leaders and 15 behind my nearest clubmate due to the hill climb. I also remembered that the NFCC road trophy is awarded for the quickest combined time and I’d like to keep it for another year. However with only the TT remaining, I knew I would struggle to make up the time because I've only spent about 2 hours on my TT bike all year. It was therefore necessary to get up, brave the cold and put an effort in to help the club get a decent team placing and to possibly retain the NFCC Road Race trophy. The course is rolling and I made it difficult for myself as I failed to get into a rhythm. I was caught early by eventual winner Oscar but shortly after caught a Primera rider who was my 2 minute man. I just decided to keep a reasonable cadence on the hills and remember not relax on the descents. The last quarter is a long drag which helped to a degree and I remembered to push up the final little climb but I didn’t expect much. It therefore came as quite a surprise when Nick said I had a good time. Good was perhaps a bit generous but I did notice I had beat Stewart. A quick calculation and it was too close to call.... however after looking again, I had overcome the deficit and retained the NFCC trophy by just 3 seconds. It transpired that due to solid times by all four riders, the NFCC had come 4th in the team competition.