Race Report – Chitterne RR E/1/2/3 National B – Harrison takes 7th!
Today was my first road race since my eventful cadence Junior National so I was excited to get back into the road racing fun and games (and pain). I was tempted to ride John Andrews 3/4 but decided I’d rather take a pasting in Chitterne! The start sheet suggested to me that this was going to be a very hard race! With 4 professionals riding and a lot of very strong 1st cats. Me and mum drove up the morning of the event which was located up near Salisbury. We drove the course before and it was open and exposed roads which was going to make for a hard race. With 3 major climbs all positioned at different sections of the course it was going to be a case of holding on for as long as possible I thought.
The first 10 miles were fairly steady with a breakaway quickly establishing itself off the front. After around 15 miles in I found myself off the front on a descent just after the finishing climb so after the technical s bends I pushed on and established a gap with 3 others including a Madison genesis pro rider! We bridged across to the break but by that point a splintered bunch had bridged across. In the crosswind a break of around 4 went up the road then around another 5 had pushed off the front of the group. I knew I had to go with this move so I smashed myself inside out into the crosswind after around 20 miles into the race! I bridged across and quickly we began working together and we caught the 1st break making it a group of 11. Next lap round another 2 riders had bridged across. These being Jack Billyard from Zappi and Charlie Quartermann from leopard pro cycling! The bunch was now in pieces and the one pro, bike channel canyon and Madison Genesis rider had missed the split. We now had a strong group of 14 but some people weren’t pulling turns which was annoying but couldn’t be helped. With around 15 miles left to go Jack and Charlie went for it into the crosswind climb/false flat and only 5 of us could follow. This was the selection and I had made it. We then rode through and off and established a good working group and got a 1 minute gap to the bunch with 10 mile to go. Then once again on the crosswind section jack and Charlie went for it again. This time however I was unable to go with them so 3 riders went away leaving 4 of us to try and bring them back. This wasn’t working so we rolled through and off in order to not get caught by the bunch. At this point my legs were already destroyed!
Onto the final climb and I had nothing left. I crawled up the climb at threshold and rolled over the line in 7th place. I was so happy with my ride as I wasn’t expecting anything at all. The bunch finished around 1 minute 15 down on us being lead by the Bike Channel Canyon and Madison Genesis rider I really enjoyed this race and even enjoyed the windy and wet conditions! I’d like to thank Conrad for coaching me and the advice he gives me. My parents for continued support and MDCC for support as well! My mum was also happy to see my in one piece after some fairly eventful recent races!