I should have done the jobs I need to do on my bike the night before, but no, instead I vegetated in front of junk on the TV and left everything until the last minute. The end result was I left late and arrived at the speedway with little time to spare. I signed on, put my numbers on and then it was time to race; my warm up was the ride across the paddock.
Instead of the usual handicap this would be a scratch race; one for the cat 2/3s and a second for the cat 4s. As I went over to join the 2/3s, Andrew, commissairing, ran over with a new number – in my haste I hadn’t realised we had different numbers for the scratch event. He pinned them over my other numbers and then I was racing. Jake and David P were in the bunch with me.
When I say racing I mean I was hanging on at the back of a big bunch of riders many of whom really were racing. The pace was fast with constant attacks off the front and that set the format for the first half. Eventually a large group did splinter off the front. Other riders started to bridge the gap. Jake missed the original break but made the effort to cross. The break grew to nearly half the bunch and as it grew it only got stronger, leaving a weaker pack behind with an impossible task to chase.
My legs felt heavy and sluggish and even the pace of the second group was proving too much. An inevitable gap formed and I was off the back. I sat up, finished the lap and rolled into the pits. Not proud. After the race my thoughts jumped straight to the next day at work plus a list of others things to do. Quite simply I was in the wrong frame of mind; my head wasn’t charged for racing.
I stayed to watch the races finish. Jake came 5th in the 2/3s. In the fourths Michael made a courageous solo attack with 2 laps to go and almost made it but the bunch caught up with him and it was left to Tom to sprint for St Neots and finishing a commendable 7th.