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The British Cycling Bristol South Road Race cat 3/4

Race Report by Graham Biles  

 

Windy conditions greeted the 80 brave riders for the 52 mile (8 laps) Bristol south road race.  The nervous peloton gathered for the riders briefing and were warned of crosswinds on the fast A37 decent, this raised my anxiety even higher.  As so often does at these events there were strong warnings of the chief commissionaire to obey the highway code, especially not to cross the white lines.  Unfortunately, 2 riders ignored this, and while in other races they would have had a stern talking to individually, here they were rightly disqualified. 

 

A nervous peloton rolled out and there were 2 crashes in the neutralised zone. I was happy with my chosen position, sheltered about halfway in the field.  On the first decent it was clear why the warning of crosswinds was given as several riders struggled to keep control on the often fully exposed course.  We then headed to the main climb, Stowey hill, where we battled into a strong headwind, with no-one wanting to work the pace of the race dropped to little more than a social Sunday ride.  A few brave individuals tried to breakaway but was doomed to failure. 

 

The race progressed in this manor until, with 2 laps to go, a 3 man break got away to contest for the win.  Missing the break, I found myself safely in the reduced peloton ready to scrap it out for the other places.  Unfortunately, I missed out on a top 10 but was pleased with 13th (which has now been confirmed)