First year junior Josh Price rides his first UK road race and gives a report on his experience of racing on open roads
Primavera E/1/2/3 Road Race
Today was set to be my first ever road race in the Primavera Road Race in Hatherleigh, Devon and my first outing on the road for Backstedt/Hot Chilee Team. My dad and I had to wake up at 5.30 to leave for 6.15 in order to get to the race early enough to drive round a lap as a recon, which proved very valuable as I knew where the dangerous corners were and the corners. After having signed on and changed I got my bike ready and got on my rollers to warm up, but as I did my first peddle stroke I realised my chain had snapped which obviously was not what I wanted to see, thankfully when packing my bag I had randomly thrown in a spare chain and I was so relieved! With the quickest chain change of my life I was back on the rollers, for a (although very short) warm up.
After the rider briefing in the HQ the E/1/2/3 race rolled out at 10.30from the start for what would be a 100km rolling road race of 4 laps of an 18.2km loop, and with this being my first ever road race, I was quite apprehensive so did my best to stay at the front end of the peloton but trying to stay off the front as much as possible. There was constantly a break off the front of the group with people attacking off the front every time each break was caught. This carried on for the frist two laps with the average speed being just under 40kmh. When I hit the front after 2 laps, I squeezed on to find I had a small gap to the rest of the group, so committed 100% to the attack, out of the saddle and driving on, descending as quickly as possible with the junior gears I had on, and climbing as determinedly as possible, then after roughly 5km off the front on my own, closing down the gap to the 4 man group ahead of me, I was caught by three other riders who had attacked from the main group. The four of us then started working together in a sort of chain gang to try and catch the breakaway ahead of us. After roughly another 10km we were on a descent in one line, when the rider on the front decided to suddenly swing off, taking with him the front wheel of second man, who hit the deck very hard, and as I was sat right on his wheel, I had no time to do anything other than go over the bars at what was roughly 65Kmh and just slid down the road and into the gutter. I got up as quickly as I could and picked my bike up, only to find out I had twisted my bars, ripped my rear mech off and buckle both my wheels beyond rideable, I then realised this was the end of my race, in which I had been feeling great and had the possibility of getting a podium finish as we were catching the breakaway ahead of us. I then got checked out by the ambulance crew and cleaned up, finding out that somehow I had managed to walk away with only a very few smaller cuts and grazes which amazed me considering the speed I crashed at!I also managed to tick something off the bucket list with a trip back to the race HQ in an ambulance with the other two lads that crashed, although thankfully none of us needed the ambulance!
As a first experience of a road race, the first 52km went really well, then the final 300m(ish) of crashing and sliding took my opinion way down!
Hopefully though I will have a more successful race on the 11th March at the Nokere Koerse in Belgium with the rest of the Backstedt/Hot Chilee Team!
Young riders are producing some very interesting blogs as well as great performances on the bike. Check out Josh Prices blog HERE