Elveden Races (round 4)

Cool but dry conditions greeted the organisers, helpers, spectators and competitors for round 4 of circuit racing on the Elvedon Estate. There was a brisk north-easterly breeze that made life difficult for lead riders on a couple of sections of the course.
A big thanks to the organisers and helpers for putting on such a great event, and to the land-owner (Lord Iveagh) for giving us permission to race on the grounds.

4th Cat Race

Race stats: 87 starters; 67 finishers; 41.5 miles ridden in 1:01:51.

We had a fast, chaotic race that featured a couple of small group breakaways from the 90-strong field. Most riders managed to stick to the smooth tarmac surface without deviating onto the sand and flint bordering the track, although the worst incident was when a rider came a cropper right at the end of the race (needing St John Ambulance to stabilise him).

I managed to slip into the breakaway in the second half of the race (definitely a bit of luck involved there), and amazingly we stayed away from the bunch. Our group of six did fragment around the bell, and Paul Groombridge (Iceni Velo) led the lead group of three over the line with several seconds in the bag. I crossed the line with Jonny Oneill (East Coast Riders) and just a couple of seconds later we were swallowed up by the madly sprinting pack. That was a seriously close call, and we wouldn't have managed to stay away if the main bunch had got itself better organised.

That was a surprising result for me; my only plan was to stay safe and try not to get dropped. Question is, what was the magic ingredient? Takeaway pizza the night before, a very gentle ride to the coast with the wife the previous afternoon, or the new bike that rides like a dream? I'd like to think that it was all three!

The Garmin HRM failed to pick me up for the first half of the race. When it finally came online I saw that I was working at around 173-178bpm, and held that right to the end.

Women's Race

I didn't stay around to see the finish of the women's race, but took a couple of photos at the start. Here's one:

And here's another!

E/1/2/3/4 report, plus full results, on the BC website.

View the event info page


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About the author

My name is John Swindells and I'm a keen recreational cyclist with a preference for long one-day rides. I've also previously dabbled in time trialling and cyclo-cross. See more of what I get up to on Strava!

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