Monday, 6 January 2014

Spluttery Start to Winter

We're almost half way through the Imperial Winter Series, and things have not exactly gone swimmingly, although with the amount of water around at the moment, that might be quite an apt word.

Canny Chris Grange, smooth in the bunch; no reintroduction needed

Neil has been joined by Chris, Ian and Mick, so in terms of numbers, we've had a much stronger presence than last year. Sadly, the new format of one peloton, two races seems to have created a touch of added tension, which in turn could have made our riders a bit more cautious.

Chris has managed two races so far. His round one was notable for the way in which, having not raced since summer, he slipped back in to the heart of the bunch seamlessly and coolly made the top 20 in a packed field.
Skippy - committed, determined and only one hungover withdrawal

Mick continued where he left off in the summer, having found form and regular placings at Hillingdon in the Masters Series. Generally always up there and having made it every round so far, he had only one withdrawal which is believed to be hangover - related. Worth noting also that he was coming back from a knee op

Baynesy (far left) our highest placing. Fearless.

Baynesy made his debut at pre-christmas round 4 and proved to be the exception to the 'cautious' approach. A post-race conversation was overheard - Neil explaining how nervous he was getting, especially in the last few laps. Baynesy replied "that's my favourite bit." Probably helps to explain why he took 5th place. Nutter. Although, to be fair, he does seem to have found a clear run down the windy side in this pic.

Wasser. Nice new Bike, Off the Front. Or Back
Neil, thus far, is a bit of a damp squib. Happy to burn a few muscle fibres in a break; not so comfortable in the bunch finale. Especially as he doesn't want to scratch his new bike. He says he hasn't got time to clean it [he has yet to show on a wet day], but we all know he would probably cry if it got dirty. A baptism of dirt required there.

He didn't see the Jan 4th race either. A serious crash on the 4th lap meant the race had to be cancelled. It generally takes a lot for a cancellation, but when an Air Ambulance has to land on the track, well...

A note of thanks to the Organisers at who turn out for 11 events over the winter in some of the worst weather of the year. They deserve better competitors and fewer crashes!

So we'll go for the 'game of two halves' theory. Put the Air Ambulance from last week out of mind, hope the weather improves and reboot for the Winter Series Part 2. To be continued.

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