Tom Harmer, Matt Hallam and myself (Chris Wilson) secured places for this round of the NYERRL series. The race was made up of 3 laps of an undulating 11 mile circuit setting out from the HQ at Sheriff Hutton.
We arrived at HQ in blazing sunshine and 25 degree heat with plenty of time to spare, hoping to get a good warm-up in and to do a full recce lap of the circuit, having never ridden it before. After signing on we set out and completed our warm-up lap. The circuit profile on Strava suggested it was lumpy, which it was, but didn’t quite highlight the short sharp kick up to the village of Bulmer which had a gradient of between 10% and 15% most of the way up and maxed out at 22% – not something we were used to racing up!
Returning to HQ after a steady loop, but thoroughly warm, we lined up and the race was started. The pace was steady to begin with, but was quickly raised as riders looked to move forward to get a decent position for the first ascent into Bulmer. The peloton strung out a little, but we all stayed toward the front third, and everyone came together again for the remainder of the first lap.
On the second lap a couple of riders went off the front, staying there for a good two thirds of a lap. Matt was putting in a lot of work on the front to bring the group back, despite the efforts of an Alba rider whose team mate was up the road. Eventually the group came together again. A couple of further attacks came on the final lap, with the peloton briefly splitting in two, but nothing stuck. There was a last ditch attempt by an Alba rider who went off the front with a solo effort to the line with a couple of miles to go, but the bunch upped the pace on the run in to the line, with Matt again putting in a lot of work, and he was gathered up with around half a mile to go.
The race was to come down to an uphill sprint finish. There was quite a lot of jostling for position on the final run in before opening up the sprint. There was a moment where I came shoulder to shoulder with another rider, which took me off my stride a little, but I was able to move up the outside and make up a few places finishing in 6th. Tom and Matt both getting caught in a bit of traffic on the run into the line, but still finishing in the top 20.
A good result all round, and some points scored for VSCC in the overall league competition.