Thursday, 20 March 2014

All Terrain Race Team what are they up to ?

Well Ben Wodd has been getting some serious training in, here is what he has to say.

This weekend I finally got out with the Café racing bunch who set off from Keighley area on a sat morning. Top group of guys and girls who have been racing at the highest level of the sport for many years. It was great to see familiar faces young and old. 
One or two faces I haven't seen in 10-15 years since I first started racing cross-country MTB and fell in love with the sport of cycling at the age of 15.  I've been meaning to get out and ride with these guys for months, maybe years. But being new to road racing I had heard good and bad rumours of the café racing rides being tough and fast.

 I often thought that I wouldn't enjoy them or it wasn’t suiting my schedule of work and life and had always given it a miss. How wrong I had been? 
I loved every minute of having my legs tested and ripped off. It was tough and hard, but there wasn’t a moment where I thought I don't like this. After the unofficial race had ended and the sprint for the sign had been contested it was great to chat with various riders about how hard it had been riding in to a very strong westerly head wind. 

We spun steadily to the café to get a well-earned coffee.  Some of the more experienced riders where going to put some miles in after and ride towards settle and put another 50 mile in. Feeling better than I thought I joined a select few and headed to the hills. Tough head winds and beautiful scenery and rough roads I got finally made it home with the biggest smile on my face. 

Was great to ride with so many friendly faces. Massive thanks to Chris Young and Seth Smith for looking after me and sorry it's taken me so long to get out. See you next week!

Mark Perry entered the SERRL event 1 Lamberhurst/Frant/E123/120k , this is his report on the race.

My first Elite race of the season was on a demanding 20 k course, which has a steep, fast descent , a lot of uphill draggy sections and a double uphill kick to the start/finish line.
Having done this race a few seasons ago and knew there would be a break, so was up near the front from the off.

Little did I expect the break to go in the first 2 mins of the race as the lead car led us up to the start finish line. I found myself pushing on in a 3 man break with 120k to go, but was glad of the brief rest when another ten riders joined us a lap later. The three main teams were represented in this group, with two or three riders each, so I knew we'd stay away.
We pressed on hard and at one point had 8 mins on the bunch with another chasing group 3 mins behind.

On the penultimate lap I attacked just before the climb to the finish and managed to get a gap, now I just thought about a solo TT effort for the last lap. Looking over my shoulder at the top of the circuit I saw two riders were bridging across to me, one of them my training buddy Rhys Howells. The three of us drove our effort on until Rhys jumped just before the finish, I tried to chase but my legs were melting by that point and the other rider came around me to get second.

Having trained hard all through the winter months and just returning back from a training camp in Tenerife I was looking for a top 5, so chuffed with  3rd. This was the first time I'd raced on the new bike, which was faultless all race. Super stiff and responsive when I put in the big efforts and attacks, plus really smooth gear shifting and sharp, responsive breaking.