Winning… like Buses

So it’s been a while since I last did an entry in the PPRT blog, to be exact I think it was a review on my awesome week in Calpe.

Since then I’m not going to lie, it’s been the biggest rollercoaster ride of a season. Shortly after Calpe things didn’t really go to plan, I ended up getting ill for around a month, messing up the beginning of my season. Just when I thought I’d had my bad luck for the season, there was a big crash at the Eagle Crit’s in Woodbridge.

I thought I’d got away unscathed until visiting the hospital and finding out I’d dislocated my shoulder and it was going to cause me some discomfort for around a month. This meant a month of feeling sorry for myself and eating a lot of cake!

With some “strong” motivation from friends and my coach I got back on it with the training. The form was coming back faster than expected and I got some surprising results including a 4th place at Hog Hill Thursday Crit’s and a podium (2nd place) at the Farewell to Ugley (234).

Since the beginning of July my strength is now virtually back to where it should be and the results have started flooding in!

  • In my first National B of the year I managed to get into a break of 13 and finish 8th, first ever top 10 in nat B.
  • A week later me and Josh competed at the Flamme Rouge Kermesse, a really quick short circuit that was not letting a break get away. Average speed here ended up being 27mph for 80miles!!

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Then this is where it started getting really exciting. I did the 4th week of the Suffolk Cycle Racing Series with the Pedal Power crowd. Josh, Liam and me in the men’s race and Gemma in the women’s.

The men’s race is handicapped meaning the E12’s start around a minute behind the 3rd cat riders. We were all chasing hard and caught the 3rds after around 30mins. Once we had caught the 3rds, I decided to make an attack. Checking behind after around a minute of effort I could see Lloyd Chapman of Catford Banks chasing solo.

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Some of you will already know I do a lot of training with Lloyd so we know how each ride, we both committed to the break and stayed away for a sprint finish down the final straight. I came out of the last corner first and gave it everything but he came round me with about 50meters to go and it was all over. This was a mega result though, a cheeky 2up break with a good friend is always good fun.

These few results had brought my confidence up a bit and I was feeling less nervous about the next up coming Nat B (Kenneth Lush).
After a great PPRT BBQ on Saturday night, my friend Stephen had offered to bottle for me. Something I was incredibly thankful for when we noticed I’d somehow punctured my rear wheel. Suddenly we found ourselves running around the car park for a spare tube (thanks for this again Josh A). Tube fitted and numbers on I was ready to roll out.
The course was actually harder than expected, half the course included a couple of big hills followed by some false flats. Then downhill a lot for the second half of the circuit.

I tried to get myself in as many moves as I could, having a good idea a break would eventually go. Initially the breaks were going but people weren’t committing enough effort to ensure we would stay away.

Eventually with 3 laps to go on the finishing hill, I got away with 3 other lads. Tommy (Strada Sport), Josh (Catford) and Chris (Nunn Sigma).

For about 2 laps the gap back to the bunch sat at around 20secs but with 1 lap to go the lead car pulled around us meaning we had over a minute’s gap and the finish was 5 miles away.

In my head I was already thinking “right now you’ve got 4th whatever happens, use your head Ross. Use your head!”

I had pretty tired legs and thought I was the most tired out of the 4, I let the others lead the finish out. Josh initially went and we all jumped on his wheel. With about 800 to go Tommy attacked and I managed to close the gap and then kicked myself.

I looked over my shoulder and no one had jumped on my wheel so I tried to just keep it going until the line. One more glance back, I’d actually done it! Actually won my first road race of the year, made even more special by being a nat B. This is now my best ever cycling result and to be honest I don’t think I’m capable of much more.

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Just when I thought the past few days couldn’t get much better, with the help of the team I managed to get a result at Trinity Park! We managed to slip Josh and I off the front with Titch (a rival workhorse). The break got whittled down to 5 riders with myself getting away 3 laps to go for the win and Josh finishing 4th. Liam holding things up in the bunch even managed a cheeky 8th place despite covering any dangerous moves throughout the race. Gemma in the women’s race continued her rivalry with Rebecca (Aprire/HSS) who have been attacking each other constantly the last 5 races by dropping everyone else and fighting it out down the back straight and home straight for Gemma to take second in a closely fought sprint.

If you’ve made it this far sorry it’s been a long one! We’ve been a bit lapsed in our entries.

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