The past weekend I made the pretty long hike up to Newcastle for the U.C.I 1.2 Beaumont Trophy- one of the highest ranked and biggest races in the UK outside of the Elite road series- a kind of UK ‘classic’
The race has been won in the past by Wiggo and there were a lot of hitters over in prep for the National Road Champs in a weeks time so I knew it was going to be tough. The course was GRIPPY and just rolling all day with some stinging climbs and crosswinds. A combination of two circuits. The larger circuit of 22mls and includes the climb of the Ryals and a smaller circuit of 14 mls. The race started with one lap of the smaller circuit before going on to complete 4 laps of the larger circuit and then finish with a final lap of the small circuit. 117 miles in all.
Things had not been going well before the weekend for me. I picked up a strong 7th place in the Bole Hill race 3weeks prior and felt my form was really coming on well, only for me to get pretty ill the following weekend and miss more races! I wasn’t content with the standard fobbing off the doctors give you and I investigated it further, turns out I have a few food allergies unbeknown to me, which was making me sick.
So after making a lot of diet changes and with a steady week of training on the bike I was prepared to have a go and race the event. Realistically even in my current top form I would struggle to make a big impression on the race, in a couple of years I really hope to compete at the sharp end in these races but right now the main objective for me was to gain experience and see what I could do for the team. The main thing being to sign on as we needed 4 riders minimum to start!
Myself, Seb, Dillon and Lee lined up at the start with grey skies and rain threatening- it ended up being a race filled with rain showers and bright sunshine- although I only full realised this afterwards as I was mostly preoccupied with feelings of lactic acid.
The race set off pretty fast from the beginning which is fairly standard, pretty quickly we were onto the main circuit and approaching the Ryals. The climb was more of a pair of 90s- 2min sprints with a slight descent in the middle, not a true ‘climbers climb’. I found it pretty tough up there the first time, and over the top in the cross-tailwind the race began to split with a lot of guys going straight out the back door. I managed to stay with the main peloton and coming into the second large lap I was feeling stronger. After the Ryals for the second time a break had established and I was still with the main peloton.
Coming into the 3rd large lap a few riders were chipping off the front of the peloton and forming a chase group, with about 70miles of the race in the bank and not feeling too bad I decided to have a hit off and try and join them, I was joined by another rider from Achieve, but my legs were just not there, and I died in no-mans and and ended up back in the peloton, when Lee went over the top with a few riders and put time into the now very depleted main group- chapeau Lee!
From then on, it was a case of just getting round for me, which I managed and was very pleased to do so. Nearly 160 riders lined up at the start and less than half finished, and I finished in a group with some strong riders, so I will take the positives from it and work hard to get my form back to where it was pre-sickness and pre-season.
A Massive thanks as always go to the Champ-sys UK guys for the clothing and kit, and BuyaBike.co.uk for the Base Bikes. Special thanks also to our manager Peter Wilson who gave up his Sunday to sort things out as well as stand in the wind and rain in the feed zone for 5hours!