Author: Ben Bradley
My first elite National Championships. Heading into the race weekend off the back of 2 wins and 2 second places so far in the national series races, I was confident of a good result. Training had gone really well and everything was in place for a good day.
My warm up was okay, I didn't feel great but usually I'm good reserving the good feelings and energy for the important stuff so I just rolled with it. A good start saw my lead of the line and eventually settle into 3rd wheel. Immediately I could sense the feelings in my warm up had not really improved so I tactically decided to get myself to the front for the first climb knowing that passing was not an option for the first 1/3 of the lap. This would hopefully give me enough time to work my way into the race knowing that I traditionally always finish strong.
I managed to keep myself at the front until halfway through the 2nd lap when Cam Ivory (eventual winner) came passed and put in what would be his decisive winning attack. I tried to follow but couldn't. Forming a chasing group with Dan McConnell, Brendan Johnston and Seb Jayne. The next 3 laps were probably some of the hardest I've completed. I slipped back to 5th and was loosing ground fast to the guys in front. I tried to stay mentally in the game and eventually with just under a lap and half to go I came good and began to feel and ride like I was hoping I would all day.
Starting the last lap in 5th I quickly got though to 4th, passing Brendan and was well on my way to 3rd until half way through the lap a puncture put a full stop on my day. I rolled slowly on the rim to the tech zone where, loosing 4th position in the process, I changed my wheel and got rolling again.
Crossing the line in 5th, not disappointed but not happy either was and still am slightly confusing. I know I was capable of much more but am also content with that being what the day had for me so I'll take that and move on.
Looking forward I have the final 2 rounds of the National series coming up on the 24/25 of March, where I'm currently leading the series and am aiming to wrap to wrap it up in a currently tight points battle with Cam Ivory.