Only three SCCC members were stupid enough to start the road race season off in late February with the Clayton Velo Handicap around Bashall Eaves, Clitheroe.
Darren, Tony and Dunc all rode with some good support from Julian (on a short trip over from Italy) and Ian who got the train there, then rode home (and managed to get lost in
Burnley and Rochdale!!!)
The weather had turned bad by the time we got to the HQ at 8.00 with the rain falling and the temperature reaching a toasty 4 degrees.
After a quick drive around the course it was pointed out to me (more than once) that this was not the flat course I promised!!! There were only 2 or 3 small drags but at
26mph on one lap they did feel like hills.
We all got changed before the race and Darren bumped into somone then quickly appologised by saying "SORRY LOVE" to his horror this was not a young lady
but an 18 year old lad that looked a bit like Justin Bieber !!!! The lad just said "it must be the hair!!!!"
After a ride briefing and a minutes silence in memory of local rider Lewis Balyckyi we set off to the start. We started in the second group of 20 riders with 2 minutes to make up on the group in front. With the rain still falling and only having ridden about a mile, there was no time for a warm up.
The pace was soon quick as we tried
to catch the group in front. After the first few laps Tony realised that a warm up may have needed as he dropped off and formed a group with a few others.
Darren got away in a group of 4
for a few miles. Dunc chased for about 2 miles and caught up along with another rider that made it across just after. The 6 worked well and we soon caught the group in front. The pace
slowed after that when we were told the elite riders were only 2 minutes behind us with about 15 miles to go.
When the elite riders caught us the pace obviously went up and massive gaps
appeared straight away in the bunch as it split into about 3 groups. Dunc was in the 2nd group with Darren hanging on the back of the elites but not when they hit the headwind climb at
Soon Dunc and Darren were in a group of about 20 for the last 10 miles and this was more like a fast clubrun as we just rode to the finish as our race was over. They finished 31st
and 32nd, so not too bad out of 80 starters. Something to improve on for 2012!!!!!!!!