Ah back to the crits. It feels strange after eight days racing around Ireland battling wind and Lithuanians!
After getting my legs into action on Tuesday at my “home” [Lampier actually comes from Cornwall – ed] race in Peterborough, I was really looking forward to the “Only way Is Essex” round.
With the team sitting third, morale was good and with returning fellow Men of the Ras Simon Richardson and Wouter Sybrandy bringing their “fresh” legs to the table, it was shaping up to be a good night.
The day of a criterium is strange one: it’s all about routine, but I didn’t have one. So I made myself my first cup of strong black, athlete’s coffee of the day and thought about the racing to come. No, didn’t work! Mind still blank so made another…
A while later, I went on a little hour’s ride to open the legs out, all a chilled calm before the storm . With Colchester only two hours away, it was a relaxed day. Time was taken to get kit ready, drink some more coffee and drive to the venue.
Once there I met up with my Team Sigma Sport Specialized team mates. There were a few jokes as usual: it’s essentially a bunch of mates in the same jersey, which is pretty cool.
Yesterday’s circuit was sweet: a drag up through the start-finish line, a downhill off camber corner, then a narrow bit at back with a sharp corner into the uphill.
I rolled round for a few laps to check it out, followed by 20mins on rollers. Music banging, crowd jumping, boom, I was ready.
I rolled to the start to race and got on TV behind the motorbike! For some dudes, that’s their whole race!
I attacked, as is custom, early on: more of a rush of blood to the head, a nervous reaction to speed the hour up!
Half a lap later I was reeled in and five got away with teammate Si [Richardson] in there. All good: now we just had to follow other moves and stay at the front for the kick finish.
Some dodgy ridding by others, chopping in on the last lap, meant I couldn’t really move up. I was disappointed with myself.
We were sixth team on the night and up to third overall. Results will come, with four more to go.
I drove home in a deep thoughtful mood, lay awake for a few hours with the caffeine playing havoc with my bloodstream, thinking of the next round in Oldham wanting to right my wrongs but still deeply in love with racing my bike!
Tour Series blog #3: Simon Wilson (CyclePremier.com-Metaltek) in Peterborough
Tour Series blog #2: Andy Tennant (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) in Aberystwyth
Tour Series blog #1: Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing) in Durham