Hillingdon Circuit Tuesday nights race 2 17th April

All the talk on the day was about the weather, there was a little but of sun during the day but the bursts of sun were being interrupted by great big downpours of rain.

I probably shouldn’t have raced that evening but my start of the season has been a little bit light on racing and I’d been ill the previous week so I was determined that I would race.

I had the choice of the E/1/2/3 race which offers BC points or I had the choice to race the 3/4 race which doesn’t offer points but is normally much easier and there’s normally prize money for the top ten finishers. I decided as I’d not raced much and because of the conditions, that I would be better off riding the 3/4 race just to get a race in my legs.

The race started off with around 30 riders and at a reasonable pace and there were quite a few attacks in the opening laps, the good thing about there being no BC points is that people are less likely to sit in for a sprint and actually go for glory instead. This makes the racing much more open and enjoyable.

I had one dig in the early laps but it was quite chaotic and hard to get a group organised, this is when it all started to happen and the rain started to hammer it down!

I can’t remember ever racing in anything quite like it, I could barely see where I was going, the wind was blowing us everywhere and the rain was so hard it was horrid. The weather took it’s toll on the other racers and I kept noticing that the bunch was getting smaller and smaller.

I managed to keep with it though and the rain did back off after that, there were further attacks but nothing really stuck. I kept marking the moves and just making sure I was in as many as I could but nothing worked out in the end.

The lap board came out and showed 3 to go, I can normally sprint reasonably well so I hoped that with a smaller field I would be in a good shot of getting a top ten finish. There were two London Dynamo riders still in the bunch and one of the riders looked quite good and he’d moved close to the front so I decided to follow his wheel, we came round the final corner quite quickly and despite being near the front, the London Dynamo rider lost the wheel in front of him and a gap opened up. I didn’t see this happen so I lost quite a bit of time waiting for him to kick for the sprint but it didn’t quite happen. I’d made a huge mistake of trying to use another riders wheel and there were two riders ahead of me.

I did my best to try and make up the gap but it was too far and I had to protect my position, one rider did make it past me on the line but I’d made up a few places and finished in 5th.

I wasn’t really expecting a top ten finish that night so I was quite pleased considering and it was nice to get a result after enduring the conditions.

There was a video posted on youtube afterwards which might give you some idea of how wet it was.

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