Race Report – Westpoint Criterium Mark Coombe

Mark Coombe came 2nd in the CAT 4 only race @ Westpoint and has now moved up to Cat 3 level. Below is his report

Last winter I decided that if I wanted to be competitive, I needed to follow a structured schedule to get myself fitter. So I invested in a new turbo, dongle and TV screen and set up my bike in the spare room. I seem to have spent more time in my “Pain Cave” than a Tory MP. But it worked. I have lost 5kg and am now leaner and fitter. My results were encouraging in previous races, 3rd in a Cat 4 crit and winning the first Club TT. I felt confident going into the race. 

It was a typical Cat 4 race, one rider tried a solo effort and we kept him out there for 20 minutes until he came back to join us. Unfortunately the pace dropped then and he recovered enough to gain 4th at the finish. Another rider made a break for glory with 5 laps to go and no-one wanted to give chase. It was frustrating as the peloton would be sprinting for second if we didn’t catch him. I was poorly positioned on the penultimate lap but managed to escape at the bell. He was 10 seconds ahead of me with 700m to go. I managed to claw back 9.5 and lost out by less than a bike length. A good day for the Parker family: Ed was in the points and Kenny took second in the Cat 3 race.

I was both satisfied that I am now Cat 3 but disappointed that I feel that I should have won. Oh well, I can’t do anything about it now. Am now looking forward to being a domestique for the sprinters in Cat 3 and being part of a team with a race strategy.

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