Race Report – Harry Loader 2nd at Westpoint

Westpoint 3/4 Crit – 16th August – 2nd place

I rode over to Westpoint with Mark Sanders, leaving in what we thought would give us a decent amount of time to get there, however we’d misjudged our timings and arrived with just 20 minutes to spare. After pinning our numbers on and a quick trip to the loo, we rode to the start. After a good 5 – 10 minute wait we were on the start line ready to race. The race started relatively quickly, with Dave getting a small gap with 2 other riders on the early laps. However it quickly came back together and i decided to hit the front and inject some pace into the race, I sat on the front and kicked up the climb each lap until around 5 laps in, the elastic snapped and I got a gap with one other rider from Exeter Wheelers on my wheel. After a quick chat, we got to work and were riding smoothly, both pulling decent turns. The gap began to go out and after 20 minutes we had around 15 seconds on the bunch, however as we went up the climb he began to drop back slightly, at this point another rider from Dulwich Paragon had jumped across to us and him and me began to work together with the Exeter Wheelers rider dropping back to the bunch. Our gap continually went out despite the odd lap where it had gone down slightly, we were working really well together, putting the gas on when the gap dropped slightly and easing off when it went up. After 40 minutes we were both desperate to see the lap board and when it was shown we continued to press on and with 2 laps to go, our gap was 35 seconds. At this point we slowed slightly, both readying ourselves for the finish. I knew he was looking strong and so I was planning on leaving it to a sprint and hopefully being 2nd around the last bend. However he had a completely different plan, as we came round for the bell lap I was leading up the climb and unexpectedly he attacked half way up the climb. I tried to get back up to him but didn’t have enough time and had to settle for 2nd. I was pleased with the the result, as it seems to have been a long time coming, however as any racing cyclist is, I wasn’t completely satisfied as I hadn’t won! Also a special mention to Dave Johnson who won the bunch kick for 3rd which has seen him promoted to 2nd cat status! Also to Mark Coombe who was 4th.

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