Jacob Vaughan, Junior RR National Champion gives a riders report on the Perfs Road Race!
My first big road race of the season came in the form of Perfs Pedal 2017. Whilst excited to race in a National B event against some big names, I wasn’t expecting the result I finished with. Having been at the British Cycling Awards Dinner in Birmingham the night before, I probably didn’t have the best race prep with a lot of travelling and a late night. However, I looked forward to racing the next day.
From seeing the race last year, where Pedal Heaven (now known as Bike Channel Canyon) split the race on the first hill, I knew I had to be at the front. As I expected, they strung it out, splitting up the bunch as we hit the crosswinds. Once the break was formed and sustained, 13 of us formed echelons to battle the wind on the first lap. Everyone worked well together for the first 3 of the 8.5 mile laps, doing chain gang until 2 laps to go, when an attack came from Jack Billyard (Zappi)
However, the majority of the break kept coming back together. Once we hit the main road, Chris Opie (Bike Channel) and Billyard put the pressure on and I knew this was the move to be in. Rory Townsend came with another strong attack around the outside and I worked hard to follow it and bridge across to them. As Rob Partridge (Bike Channel) came across, there were 5 of us working well together until we hit the wind for the final time. Attacks came quickly, where once again Opie and Billyard got a gap. Bike Channel played me well as I was forced to put in a dig to get over to them, pulling Townsend with me.
Once we hit the roundabout with 12 kilometres to go, Rory hit us with an attack on the descent, opening up a good gap. The other three of us began to look at each other until Jack decided to take up the chase, I followed with Opie on my wheel. Although I was fairly apprehensive to chase, I knew if I wanted a shot at the win I would have to work for it. Jack and I began to work well together and slowly wheeled in Townsend, Opie close behind.
With 5 kilometres to go we had finally brought him back, the finish was close as we hit the final Lady Miles circuit. I chucked my bottle to the side and the gloves came off. There was some cat and mouse until we hit the base of the final climb. It was 1 kilometre to go and the first 500 metres started fairly steady, however an attack from Billyard opened up the sprint. Townsend was quick to chase, with Opie on his team mate’s wheel. Opie kicked hard and I couldn’t quite match it, but was happy to finish second place.
A very happy and successful start to the season, I’ve been overwhelmed with the support and reaction I received. Many thanks to Pedal Potential, Boardman Bikes, Specialized UK, Galibier, VC Londres and my parents. Roll on KBK!