Temple Newsam is one of my favourite course. I seem to go pretty well here, which is surprising really considering the lap has what must be one of the longer climbs of any of the regular venues on the circuit. However, what goes up must come down, and here I can put my considerable bulk to good use and just let gravity do its thing. Plenty of rest time before the slog back up to the top. Also good and varied, so keeps you on your toes and mind off the thumping heart.
A glorious day greeted another bumper Belgian turn out including Alison, Johnny, Mark, Nick, Paul, Rich, Ricky and me, and also official snapper Jo. Although a couple of rainy days preceded race day, the course was essentially dry with a couple of slightly sticky spots under the trees - splatter was minimal.
The whistle went, and everyone bolted for the first corner. The hard hard toil commenced. I raced and raced and tussled all of the race with Mark, which, now thinking back, made for a very enjoyable race. Mark had the measure of me really if I'm honest, but a clogged cleat let Mark down at the crest of the final climb, and I pounced. Sprint finish and just clung on to 117th! Now I know I'm not the fittest bloke in the world, but still, I really turned myself inside out during the race and it's only worth 117th! There are some very fit and fast people out there.
Richard Allen 14th
Paul Nutton 43rd
Nick Waggat 69th
John Parkinson 117th
Mark Bradley 118th
Alison Crutchley 125th
Johnny Hardiman 129th
Ricky Feather 17th
So it was just a great day out. It had everything... meeting new team mates, sunshine, push bikes, racing in sandals, beer, everything!