Harvey Hadden Circuit Race

This is part 2 of the summary of my (short) road and TT season.

You can find part 1 (about BUCS TTT) here: https://teamlaurelsports.blog/2019/04/07/bucs-ttt/

One week after competing in the BUCS TTT, I competed in a circuit race at Harvey Hadden in Nottingham. A lot of the university riders had entered and despite a slight hesitation, I also entered. It would be my first ‘road’ race in almost 2 years, after doing none last year because I was unfit and didn’t want a season like the previous one, where I always got dropped at the start. Unfortunately, I got a cold on Thursday and Friday and wasn’t sure whether racing was the best idea. As it was Mother’s Day on the Sunday, I was going home so my dad picked me up and took me to the race. I signed on early, had a sandwich, spoke to my teammates and watched a uni rider in the race before.

I then went back to the car to warm up on rollers in the car park. I also changed from my long sleeved skin suit to a short sleeve jersey and shorts, because it was a glorious day. I rolled back to the circuit with about 15 minutes to the start and rode a couple of laps around the circuit to get used to it again. Whilst I have ridden there quite a bit in the past, recently, it had only been in the other direction (British Cycling paracycling sessions tend to go the opposite way around the circuit). I was surprised to find that I was the only uni rider without a teammate (with everyone racing for other clubs/teams).

I started on the second row, behind Xan (who eventually won, and is a brilliant rider). I got a good start, clipping in fairly quickly. However, I panicked on the first corner and drifted backwards. After half a lap, I was just off the back of the bunch. I fought hard to get back but this section is the toughest as it is windy and slightly uphill. I kept pushing and caught other riders that were dropping off. However, everyone I caught didn’t seem to be that interested in pushing on so I sat on their wheel for a bit and dropped them. There was three riders ahead of me, including one of my old club mates. I held the gap steady at about 30 seconds until 5 laps to go, when the gap extended. I considered this an achievement as I had been on my own for the whole race. I kept pushing to the finish, and was pleased with my average speed, as this is the fastest I had ridden on my own on the road. I also only got lapped once, which is an achievement for a small circuit.

My cornering needs work, to corner confidently in a bunch. According to my dad, I also need to work on my cadence, so I’ll put a cadence sensor on my bike and monitor it for a while. I have one more circuit race coming up, at Mallory Park in mid-April. This is a circuit I have raced on before, so am looking forward to it. Hopefully, I’ll have a teammate for it as well.

This was part of the new East Midlands Midweek Racing league. Other races in the league can be found here: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/?series_id=634

📷 : Mick Bown

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