A little report from a BIG weekend.

The open road racing season kicked off in earnest for the VCW Race team this weekend. After weeks of great results on circuits, Ts and cyclocross, it’s time to try the longer stuff.

Modbury Road Race (promoted to a very high standard by Cycle Sport South Hams) gave Giles, Jon (J-Fow), Mike Young and me a chance to use our legs and some team tactics to get our local hero (J-Fow) a win infront of his mum who lives on the circuit. For Tom Marshall, the elite race gave him an extra 40km to do battle with the chilly wind, narrow lanes and 4mile rolling climb that hammered the peloton into a single file each lap.

After some Saturday afternoon recon, we formed a plan over pasta, rice pudding and a little pre-race loosener and went to bed, scattered all over Jon’s mum’s house, knowing we had a plan.

Cold wind and clear skies are weird to race in. Wear too much (like this guy http://tinyurl.com/qh7bgye), and you cook in the break, but wear too little and sitting in the bunch will leave you freezing. Luckily, we only had to bide our time until the second lap to get out in front, with Jon and I riding clear in perfect unison at the top of the steep section to grow our gap before the race hit the gradual descent back down to Modbury town. One slight hitch was that Mike Young had been delayed behind a crash that split the bunch on th erun in to the climb, the same crash that saw VC Walcot Grimpeur Giles taken to A&E for stitches to some nasty “souvenirs” on his face and lips. It was essentially like this:

Image Courtesy of Kim Anscombe.

Hard turns, lots of wind and two additional breakaway companions later, to add to the young Bristol RC rider who came with us as we attacked, and we enjoyed freedom until with 15miles to go traffic stopped us to carve our lead in half then a puncture, tired legs and insufficient supplies of rule #5 saw us back in the bunch with just 3 miles to the start of the 1mile finish climb.

Time for plan B: Gel, drink, find a human windbreaker and prey the legs recover.

Being candid, Plan B sort of backfired a little. We were shooting for a home town hero and gave it our all to do it so not getting a result for Jon was a tough deal. Granted not as tough as having to visit A&E, wait around at the HQ for the elite race to finish (for your lift), then for the AA (for fixing your lift), then for a coach back to bath (when that didn’t pan out).

Rule #1 of planning race tactics (and travel in ‘vintage’ cars): be prepared to change your plans.

No one will ever know how the Elite race panned out, Tom could only be coaxed into saying that “It was hard”. No doubt, but that didn’t prevent the leader of our RaceRider group coming in 12th against a stacked field on a day where he had been cheering on his teammates since breakfast time.

CSSH have posted results and a report for the two mens races and the South region womens series event that was the real headline of the day. https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/102666/Modbury-Spring-Road-Races/?type=&article_id=136&utm_content=bufferbff3e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#results

With Giles, Jon and I all ready for Bristol South Road Race next Sunday and some great local knowledge the mood in the VCWRace camp couldn’t be better.

Every whoop of encouragement, cheer of appreciation and wolf whistle we can muster would be a great addition to the club’s day out next Sunday. Please come and cheer us on and we’ll do our best to entertain and bring home the bacon too.

All the details are here: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/102694/Bristol-South-Road-Race

With the TT scene carrying on at warp speed and the wins racking up, a big cheering squad at our local road race would be a great way to celebrate – there are some good cafe stops near by too.

Time to get training…..