Gifford 3/4

Myself, Logan, Louie, Ciaran and Aiden were all racing at Gifford this weekend on the undulating course near Edinburgh. It was myself and logan’s first race in ERC Kit, so we were looking to make a good first impression in it.

After the slippy warm up in the rain on the rollers and the cosy briefing the race neutralised section started with all the ERC riders huddled right behind the lead car in the near biblical conditions until the flag dropped. Ciaran did a good job of bringing back some of the early attacks on the first climb, so I could take the first KOM, then it was attack after attack until the 3 riders who filled out the podium broke clear around lap 2 where the pace of the chase, mixed with coldness (and cramp in Louie’s case)  shed most of the bunch so only a small group of around 11 including me and Logan were left to chase. Joe Wilson won with myself coming 2nd in the bunch sprint to take 5th overall with Logan close behind.

It took 30 minutes after the finish to stop shivering and we all wanted to do was go home to have a warm shower. The brutal rain and bitter coldness lead to quite a few riders pulling out. I have been racing for almost 5 years and have never been in conditions as bad as that so respect to everyone that finished. It was a fantastic race so thank you to all the marshals, organisers and commissaires that made it possible.

The fantastic photos from Jarlath Flynn photography

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Lancaster salt Ayre Crit 1

E/1/2/3 race and 3/4

With the beast from the east battering Scotland with its cold and snowy conditions, it was time to go west and then a big way south all the way to Lancaster for my second race of the season. I was competing in the 45minute long cat 3/4 race and also the hour long E/1/2/3 race. With a tough day of racing ahead I made sure to get my rest the day before the race. With the car packed me, my dad and fellow teammate Chris travelled down to Lancaster with our first race at 3:15pm. There was a slight change in music taste for the drive down, instead of Iron Maiden it was the Notorious B.I.G which got us hyped for our race. When we arrived the excitement soon began to build as I spotted the large number of cyclist collecting there numbers for the race. Me and Chris quickly got changed into our cycling kit and made our way to sign on.
Salt Ayre is a purpose built closed circuit cycle course 1500m long and about 4.5m wide. It was very nearly flat all the way round.
Once the numbers were pinned on, we set out our rollers and began to warm up for our imminent race. The car park next to the race circuit was filled with the sound of roller rev outs, cyclist bantering wither sram or shimano is the better group set and also the spectators walking round discreetly picking who their favourite for the race win is. With 3 minutes before the race began I took my spot on the starting grid on the front row. I looked behind just before the race set off but was unable to see the back of the grid. It was a fair sized field. The first couple of laps went by really fast as the riders jostled for position. Me and Chris stayed close to the front and took turns in chasing down attacks. In the middle of the race 3 riders managed to escape and got a 30 second advantage over the peloton. I decided to try and bridge across but when I got into arms reach of them they decided to attack which meant I was unable to follow them because of my effort trying to catch them. I eventually made my way back into the peloton and prepared for the sprint.

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One of the riders in the group of 3 got dropped and then swallowed up by the peloton meaning that whoever won the sprint to the line would claim the last spot on the podium. With one lap to go me and Chris had placed ourselves well near the front of the bunch for the sprint. with 200metres to go I was boxed in both sides and had to push my way out, thankfully with 150m to go I was out in front and was able to start my sprint. I managed to win the sprint and finish 3rd overall in the race

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Chris also put in a strong performance and finished 7th.

No podium, as there was no podium and I had about 10 minutes to recover before having to make my way to the start line for the E/1/2/3 race.
After grabbing a fresh bottle and gel I was once again on the start line. This race was 1 hour long which was going to hurt already tired legs. The race was extremely fast with a lot of the elite riders constantly trying to attack of the front. With 3 laps to go Chris put in a strong attack alongside Elite rider Cameron Jeffers who has plenty of experience in last minute breakaways, unfortunately Chris was caught just before the last lap.
I was preparing for the final sprint but soon realised it was not going to be easy as I got pushed off the track by a much bigger rider than me, I bunny hopped back on and tried to move my way up the field some more but only for someone to slam on their breaks in front of me which meant I was unable to execute my sprint.
However both me and Chris finished in positions which meant we could gain points towards our cat 2 licenses, I finished 14th and Chris finished 11th. Overall it was a brilliant day of racing and we both achieved good positions in both races.

Thank you to Ellen Isherwood at, https://www.flickr.com/photos/100713057@N05/ for the awesome photos

Thanks Logan