APRC road race

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APRC road race

Postby simon » June 29th, 2016, 9:44 pm

Last Saturday was the APRC road race, run under TLI rules at Preston by Steve Costello.

It's an excellent little circuit at the UCLAN sports arena, fully closed off and purpose built for cycle racing. It's just under a mile with a good surface, reasonably wide and with no nasty bends so the speed tends to stay quite high all the way round.

After my Horwich horror last week I was relieved to see the heavy rain first thing on Saturday clear up by late morning and the circuit was fully dry by the time we lined up.

TLI events are normally age related with separate races for age groups. Steve put an interesting spin on this by making it a handicap event. The first group off were all aged 55+ and were given almost a full lap lead on my group which contained a complete mixture from seniors through to early 50's like me.

The race was one hour plus 5 laps. Steve also livened things up by offering a few primes (intermediate sprints) throughout the race too.

As usual in crits, both groups set off at full pelt. The old guys were determined not to be caught and, although my group was really pushing hard, we made very little impression on the time gap in the first half hour. Eventually a few in my group started to get frustrated and started attacking off the front. Unfortunately this was enough to snap the elastic for me and a couple of others as the gaps started opening. We decided nobody would mind too much if we took a lap out (Sorry Steve!) so that is what we did and then tagged back onto the group which by then had settled down a little.

For the next 20 minutes we worked really well together and swept up a few other riders who had been dropped from the first group. Eventually we got the OAPs in sight and quickly reeled them in, bringing everyone together for the last few laps. Given my lap out I thought it was probably best not to go for a placing in the sprint, not that it was likely to happen anyway given the quality of the field. As usual, a few people tried for a long one in the final couple of laps but were brought back, resulting in a mass sprint. I was too far back to see any of the action and rolled over the line, totally exhausted by the finish.

All in all it was a great event and one of the most enjoyable races I have done this year. Steve managed to put up a really generous prize fund so hopefully word will spread about this and it will grow in importance in the TLI calendar. It's also a fantastic benefit for our club as most of the local TLI races are over-subscribed and you only get in if you are a member of a club which organises events.

Fortunately my legs had recovered enough for Sunday's club run with Ian and Tony - this proved to be a really pleasant 80 miles through the lanes to Mickle Trafford where we tried an excellent new cafe. I can't remember now what it is called but it is very much like the Ice Cream Farm used to be before it went all corporate. We sat outside and enjoyed one of the nicest BOT's I have had for a long time.

All in all a great weekend of cycling :lol: :lol:


PS Both Steve and I capped off the weekend by riding the Seamons road race last night - run in filthy wet conditions on the Siddington circuit. I don't have time for a full report but we both did OK with top 10 positions in our respective races - 3rd or 4th for Steve I think?
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