Nice Guys (Don't) Finish Last!

Adam and Keeds journeyed the short distance south over the Essex border to Colchester for the Abberton 3/4 Road Race on a chilly but thankfully dry early Sunday morning. Morale was not high. Twinkie struggled to start, Keeds didn’t bring any FlapSnack, neither racers were feeling great and it was early. Did I already mention that? If it had been even slightly drizzling I think a strategic breakdown at Starbucks on the way would probably have been the order of the day.

Much discussion was had about tactics, approach and attitude on the way and the final race objectives were agreed upon in order of priority:

  1. Stay Dry

  2. Keeds (in his 2nd RR) not to get dropped

  3. Adam to score some points if possible

Sights not set terribly high then! 🙄

With a largish field on some narrow, lumpy and damp roads, the race got off to a nervous start. One rider came down in the neutralised start and then an extension to the neutralisation due to farm machinery parked on the side of the road increased the tension. Finally racing got underway. The pace was fast and little got away with all the attacks in the first 5 laps getting pulled back. A couple of riders came down about half way through causing a split from which most of the bunch managed to recover. The wind on the day only really affected one point on the course. The most important part. A cross headwind from the left on the “bridge” across the reservoir on the lead in to the climb to the finish line.

With around 2 laps to go Adam and James Sherwood (of Rule 28) managed to slip away from the bunch as the last break, that Keeds attempted to bridge too, was pulled in and the pace lulled. With some great cooperation and work they quickly turned 20 secs into a minute and the win was going to be between those two. Meanwhile the bunch battled positioning themselves for the final run in for the remaining places.

After their breakaway efforts the leaders reached the final section of headwind and climb to the finish completely spent and a slow motion sprint ensued with Adam managing to hold off James for his first RR Victory! Chapeau coach!

The bunch finish was a little sketchy, fast, furious and pointy elbowed trying to stay out the headwind as long as possible. Keeds had managed to get himself somewhere near the front but as a RR novice wasn’t confident enough to get too involved. Deliberately taking the open (windward) left side of the road at the last moment Keeds managed to haul himself up to 14th.

Hope all the fallers are ok and nothing too serious occurred. A good mornings racing and worth getting up for. I love it when a plan comes together and well done again Adam. Cracking result!