This week everything was in order and I left on time, the evening was warm and I felt ready for racing. The car was hot so I wound the window down, well flicked the electric switch. Onto the faster roads I flicked the switch to wind the window back up, but something went bang, and the glass dropped into the door. I remained calm and turned up the radio over the howl of traffic from the A14. Sodding cars.
The speedway was busy. Tom, Jake and Michael were also representing the club. At the start line there were a huge number of 4th cats, so the ones with points were sent back to join my group of pointless 3rds. That left Michael in front, Tom (4th with points) and I next while Jake was at the back.
We started and I quickly fell into second wheel. I went by the lead rider and signaled for the next rider to come through. They did and we started working, but we were a large group and as always with a large group the organisation never quite consolidated. For the first twenty minutes I did my turns and tried, with others, to keep the group revolving, but we had a lot of passengers at the back. In the end I sat in and left others to pull the big turns. Ten minutes later we caught the pointless 4ths.
Wayne, second claim, was in the 4th cat group having been dropped by the 2nds – I guess that’s what a week in Vegas does to your training. Still he had enough to drag a bunch around for a lap.
I worked my way towards the front with Michael. He and another rider jumped off and I eased up, soft pedaling at the head of the pack. They quickly got a gap and it started to grow. Two more riders bridged. I suppose they made 60 or so metres before someone realised I had no intention of chasing my team mate down. The pack surged around me and in half a lap the break was closed down. That surge had cost me a lot of placings and I had a fight to move forward, but as I did I had just the one plan in mind. Attack.
I moved along the outside of the bunch, sheltered from the wind. About five riders from the front, just as I started to work up, a Rocko rider launched from behind. I followed him off the front. I went by to take a turn and risked a quick check behind; a third rider was with us and we had a small gap but the pack was bearing down fast. Before long we were back in the fold. Almost immediately another attack came, but the outcome was the same. The bunch was too fast and responsive for a break to survive. On the plus side though it was looking like we might escape scratch.
On the final lap I was in a reasonable position just outside the first 10 when a young lad went flying past. The second cats had caught us. Another went by, then a third. It was steady stream and my position was going from fair to terrible. The pace was now very fast and I didn’t have the stomach to jostle for 20th so I coasted home, happy with my race.