Monday, 20 September 2010

Circuit of Kent 12th September 2010

There was a good representation of Thornton riders at last weeks Circuit of Kent sportive held on Sunday 12th September 2010. The six  were led by our team leader Steve Bunn in support where Kevin Mitchell, Super Domestique Don Houghton , Bob Sanders, Danny Frost and Adrian Register; Steve and Kevin opted to do the shorter route which left 4 of us on the 130km loop. We all set of together at the back of the field. The weather was very good which resulted in perfect conditions.

Bob set off with a quick pace, not as fast as last years start, which resulted in myself and Bob looking for a good group to settle in with. The first hour saw Bob pushing hard at the front. At around this time, we realised the others had not caught us up, which resulted in myself being called Vinokourov for not waiting for our team leader (although Steve may cite the Lord Whiskey Sportive as further evidence), a little unfair. The second and third hour saw myself doing a lot of turns at the front pushing the pace on. During this period I realised Bob was not with me, I stopped and called to find that he was having trouble with his saddle. After a short wait, Bob appeared in to view and a quick repair of his saddle was undertaken. Just on que, Don and Adrian appeared amongst a fast moving group, whom we quickly joined. We rode together for while until Don & Adrian stopped at the first feed station, our plan being to stop at the next; which we missed! At around this time I moved off the front to join Bob in the Middle of the pack, a decision which proved to be correct as the pace and lack of fitness began to manifest in cramp. With the 20km sign passed the end was in sight with that favourite hill, now the only barrier to a good time, we hit the bottom of the climb with an average of 19.5mph, equipped with a sensible compact and a 27 I just span up the beast. Bob armed with a man’s gear just powered up past everyone and rode to the top, a good show of strength. Bob waited at the line and we crossed together in 4hours 9 minutes. Well do I deserve to be called Vinokourov, I will let you decide that one?

Don and Adrian appeared around 20 minutes later, with Don cursing the climb and talking of purchasing a compact! As for Adrian he looked as fresh as a daisy but declined the offer to do it again. Steve and Kevin finished the 80km route in 2 hours 40 minutes. Bob finished in the top 5 for his age group, myself in the to 20 and overall we were in the top 50. Not as fast as last year but a good ride never the less. This was the fourth time I have entered this event, the weather, organization and route make it a cracking sportive.