Well, I guess my luck had to come good some time. This past saturday I decided to have a go at the 56mile Barrmill Road Race (Scottish TLI event) in Ayrshire while I was down in Glasgow visiting my sister, and at last a decent result, I took 1st place from by a solo attack a few miles from the finish!
Going into the race, I knew myself that I had the form capable of getting a decent result, all I had to do was get out there and do it. After the poor result at SXC1 Kirroughtree, I started to think that the fact I wasn't doing well was just in my head - like a mental barrier that I had to break through. I think this partly down to all the poor performances last year, I was starting to think that maybe I didn't have that winning edge any more. But then I was thinking to myself, how can I go so well in training yet perform so poorly at a race? I had the wattage numbers and times to prove to myself that i've got what is required, but i'm not getting the results. So I decided it was just all in my head. I kept telling myself that for this race and sure enough, i've at last proved I can win again!
I left my sisters flat at 8am to make the start for 10am in Barrmill, near Beith. After a fairly firm but steady start, taking a few turns on the front and learning the 9mile course, prior plans of conserving energy went out the window as usual and I was off the front, 20miles in and joined by 3 other riders. Unfortunately that attempt was dragged back, as were the other two attempts I made to get away. However, on the last lap I could see that everyone was starting to look pretty tired. From a previous break which I missed, there was 1 rider up the road with about 30 seconds on us. After a few attempts to get away by other riders, we hit the climb round the back of the course where everyone was starting to feel the lactate burn and I decided it was time to try again. This time it stuck, and I was on my own, giving it 100% to try and get across to the lone leader. I caught the rider with about 1 mile to go, we did a couple of turns together and looking at him, I weighed up the decision that I wasn't going to leave any chances for a sprint so I attacked again, and crossed the line a few seconds ahead, closely followed by the main peleton about 30 seconds back.
Very happy, as although it wasn't a huge race i've proved to myself that i've still got what it takes. I went out the next day and did 70miles with fellow racers Alan Clark and Dave Henderson (bit much for a recovery ride!) and still felt pretty good, considering! I'm racing in Contin next weekend for round 2 of the SXC, so with refreshed mental determination from this result, I think I better go get my arse on the MTB again and see what I can do! My employer has just put me on a 3 day week due to a lack of work at the moment (dry spell up here), so this is exactly what I need to build on this great start to my season.
Ciao for now!