Winning becomes a habit, and the harder I ride the luckier I get!
I’d been off the bike for the whole week, after cramping in the Msundusi Road Race and pedalling through them, my legs were damaged, my tendons were inflamed and swollen and I couldn’t walk without pain. Monday was bad, Tuesday was worse but thankfully Wednesday brought some respite, I could walk more freely and I felt I could ride the crit without too much hassle. My Aim was to spin out my legs to loosen them up for the weekend.
It was windy, so I planned to hide in the pack and roll around doing as little as possible. Lap one put an end to that when a huge wind split opened up only half way around the track, I looked ahead and saw only top contenders in the race, not very good news and the flailing dudes on the front of my group weren’t bringing it any closer! I had to get across or it was game over. I went…hard!
Into the wind my flat road TT style was closing the gap, with the wind I wasn’t making much inroads, but I could maintain what I’d brought back. It took a lap of effort to get across, dragging two Daikin riders with me but I made it, and without the main bunch. I had now joined the breakaway and it already contained my team mate Jos. We helped each other and worked the break into a sustainable gap, then the infighting started. Gutters and attacks came at will as the guys tried to shake each other down, the bunch of 11 was thinning lap after lap.
I would open gaps into the wind and made riders chase me down to tire them out, and the same came from other riders all round the course. In the final three laps I made a break and caused a major split and when David Garrett and Darren Lill joined forces to give chase, they broke away from the rest. I rode solo for a lap while they worked their way back to me. David rested behind Darren in the closing stages and I eased up on the pedals before they rejoined me to take a breather, it was now a three way dice. As I suspected DG attacked soon after closing me down. I jumped immediately not allowing a gap to open, Darren didn’t follow.
It was down to David and I with 1 lap to go. There was still a 6 man chasing bunch so we couldn’t ease up and start attacking each other just yet. We worked together somewhat until the final bend where David sat on my wheel and wouldn’t roll through. I knew he would and I kept the pace high so he couldn’t get a big leap if he jumped me. I rolled up to a place I was happy to open up the sprint. I knew I had a bigger kick, it was just a question of how much was left in the tank. I got it all right and DG followed and held my wheel but couldn’t come around once out of the slip, I held the power to the line and crossed with half a bike length. 2nd win for me in the series and I am now 2nd on the points ladder. Happy days!