Halfords Tour Series blog: Kit Gilham in Oxford

Cycling Weekly will have a rider blogging from every round of this year’s Tour Series, offering insight, comment and humour from the fast-paced proceedings.

2011 Yorkshire Regional champion Kit Gilham describes life in the Herbalife-LeisureLakesBikes.com team last night in Oxford, and how he got by on the long drive home.

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I was pleased with how last night and the results went for the Herbalife-LeisureLakesBikes team in Oxford. It was a tough circuit – it was fast, apart from the one dead hairpin turn. That forced you to slow right down before racing up to 30mph as quick as you possibly could.

Doing that lap after lap really took its toll – I heard riders in the changing room afterwards saying how hard it was. I don’t think the heat had a big impact on the outcome; if it had been wet the results may have been different. I prefer it when it’s warm, and I don’t think it made the racing harder or any slower.

For me, yesterday started with a steady one-hour ride in the morning. I’m not sure if it helps physically, but it seems to do the trick in my head. I left York yesterday around 1pm, and once I got to Oxford there was the normal pre-race procedures to go through.

I headed to the circuit after the riders briefing, which was the first time I saw it. The warm up laps can be helpful – especially in comparison to looking at the course map for the new venues – as you can work out your line, and where the potholes and drains are. Ultimately they’re all crit circuits, so within a few laps you can get a feel for them.

After the race and a quick shower, I drove home as quickly as I could (within the law!). It’s always nice to get home, especially as I was up at 6.30am this morning with the children. There’s no chance of a lie in in our house!

You try and work out the results when you’re driving home, particularly as you don’t tend to have seen them before you leave. I spoke to a few of the team last night, and they had a feeling we would be seventh. It’s always nice to beat teams with a bigger budget, as we did last night, too.

I’ve ridden the Tour Series before, but some of our team are still getting their eyes and legs used to this style of racing. That will probably take a few rounds, I guess. I’ve given them advice for the rounds I know, but the biggest thing I can say to them is “move up!”

I won’t be in Aberystwyth but have Redditch to look forward to tomorrow. Hopefully it will go well once again, as it’s a way of thanking Herbalife and Leisure Lakes Bikes for all their support so far this year.