I had said to a mate that I had been riding most of the WMCCL races "for pleasure" and would start more serious racing in the New Year, at the Just Ride New Year's Day Scramble. So with that in mind I didn't drink too much on New Year's Eve but didn't manage to get to bed before 1am either.
Lining up for the start at Top Barn on the third row of the Juniors and Vet 40+ phase of the J/V/W race, I wasn't too sure how things would pan out. I had ear marked this race as I was hoping that most people wouldn't be foolish enough to go racing on New Year's Day - think again. With a combined field of 120+ there was a very decent turn out and a reasonable crowd with more folks here that new me than at possibly any of my previous races!
The course is fast and not too technical, with no single track sections, giving plenty of opportunity for overtaking and getting in the groove. Even though there had been rain for most of the preceding week the mud wasn't too deep and slick. After a reasonable start and moving up on the opening start section I went thru the finish for the first time in about 13th place. I managed to move up and follow some of the faster guys, like Steve Knight, for a while and had a feeling I was doing ok. Going into the final lap I was just trying to hang in there and didn't really think I was going to catch the guy in front, so I may have lost focus a little towards the end when I was caught from behind with less than half a lap left. Going into the barriers for the final time I was on his wheel and was ready to stay there until the last corner, but there was just too much traffic thru the barriers and I made a bit of a hash of the dismount losing a couple of seconds. By the finish I was only one second behind him and five behind the next guy - wow what a race!
When the results came out later that evening I had come in 10th overall, 7th Vet 40-49, and 2nd V45+ !!!
Now all I need to do is keep this focus for the last 2 league rounds and just have a go and enjoy the National trophy round at Shrewsbury.