Race report and more photos from the hunt
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I was surprised by the obvious lack of tricked out sweet fixie bikes and posers in this event. Good show and good racing from most people. There was some confusion in the first heat when some riders got adjusted to riding in a pack and how you properly reduce your speed when in a bunch. A guy infront of me started whipskidding going into a bend and promptly got told to fuck off by his peers. This man amazingly got pushed out in the bushes twice but managed to claw his way back in the pack in an amazing effort fueled by rage. Apart from a few spills and stupid manoeuvres that was followed by yelling there were very few attacks in both heats and people kept nervously calm most of the time. As expected people were just watching chas and walton doing work at the front and it wasn’t until me Rudy and Dave halfassedly attacked at the top and paced the race up a bit that people actually started to take turns in the front. After that brief bromance moment that made for a bunch of good photos I stuck to the back of the pack mostly. During the second last lap the peloton split in two. I Bridged to the leading group and exploited the only real strength I have on the Hillingdon circuit wich is the last uphill before the decline to the finish. I got good leadout speed coming over the hill and overtook a few riders down on the decline to the finish. Rolled in as number 7 with Rudy and Dave on my wheel. Strava for Heat1 here. Most of the 5th riders made it to the final except one that crashed out when a french contender on a beautiful yellow TT frame slid off in the final stretch and Biggs who went down in a similar accident.
Being in Heat 1 there was a 90 minute gap for me to get back out for the finals. I wasn’t too happy to ride out in the grim wind and rain again to be honest and as far as pacing goes it was basically the same as Heat 1. My Strava had us averaging 24mph in both runs and people were obviously a bit tired and worn towards the end of the 30 minutes. At the top of the hill leading leading in to the second part of the hairpin sequence someone cut the line infront of dave and he fell over another rider. The organisers stated infront of all three heats that if there were crashes the race would be stopped and restarted but that never happened. The commissars could have been supplied walkies to report incidents on the track for this to actually work. Anyway seing Dave going down and cursing on the top of his lungs I got flung out on the grass. His bike somehow ok compared to the other riders wasted rear wheel. I picked him and Daniel up who also went down and we pressed on thinking the race would be restarted at the finish line. It was not I dragged Dave and some other riders caught behind the crash around for a few laps but we had lost contact with both packs after the crash and we rolled off before being caught by what was then a breakaway. Good race all in all except for the crashes but everyone expected that much. First time I have raced the cannondale in any event since The Boulevards of death allecyat in queens last year. Apart from having to swap out my rear tire just before the start it went great. Really glad I went with speedplay pedals seeing the ridiculously tight clearing people had in the hairpin curve as seen here. Moving forward im plucking the heavy Hson rear and the trispoke off and putting them back on the pista concept. The Cannondale is getting new era specific low profile tubulars for the track season ahead.
— Erik J
Here are some pictures in between Heat1 and the finals. More should follow soon when Viv has gotten to finish editing the mass of photos she took during the races.