August has been a little bit of a disappointing month (see my previous post for more details) for me in some ways.
It started with me messing up a big target race, and has ended with two races heavily disrupted by illness. Having said that, these sandwich a road race win so there’s been some success, at least.
I’ve been taking things a bit easier over the last few weeks (in addition to time off the bike due to illness), not training as much as I have been and just generally trying to relax a bit and start to look ahead to the off season. I have two more races left now (Jef Schils RR & Southend Wheeler’s Andrews Trophy RR) before hanging up my wheels for a few weeks and going on holiday, so hopefully there’s something left in the legs for a couple more good results this season.
It’s been a good year for me overall to date, a massive thank you goes to The Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund for their continued support.
Ryedale Grand Prix (37th place)
As soon as I’d come back to the UK, this was the big target race of the year for me. It’s traditionally regarded as the hardest premier calendar road race course of the year, so I was hoping for a super hard, attritional day out that would whittle the bunch down to a select group.
The race wasn’t as long as I would have liked, but it would still be a tough ride. I’d built towards it over a number of weeks, training hard and getting my weight down.
After a bit of a taper, I was absolutely pinging, exactly as planned, when race day arrived. I genuinely believed I could get a top 15 at the very least.
After a savage first hour, the breakaway established and the pace settled. It was then just a case of getting round and waiting for the inevitable fireworks to begin as we approached the final laps.
I was pretty relaxed and confident, happily sitting in the bunch, aware of how many others seemed to be really suffering on the climbs whilst I was finding the pace comfortable or, dare I say, easy.
When an attack went on the main climb at one point, I was able to respond to it quickly, aided by my position very near the front, and followed the wheels as splits appeared, though the move ultimately came to nothing.