So a good day in all - but crucially not the result I was hoping for.
A fine day with a good testing field. The course was challenging - much more so than the Eastern Region courses that I've become accustomed to throughout this season.
Jake Martin and I had a few early digs ion the first lap but nothing much happened ad then when I saw Jake put in a big attack, I chased, and we made a 30 second gap and stayed away from the field for a lap just the two of us.
We were doing well but still there was so long to go - we were relying on a bridging group to join us, or for there to be delayed chase by the main field. Soon however, 3 joined us - Andy Betts of La Fuga Sigma Sport, Nicholas Hutchins of CS Grupetto and Andrew Hastings, Finchley RT.
The strength of this group became apparent immediately and within a lap our gap on the field had been extended to 2:30 at its peak.
Jake and I were optimistic about the group staying away but as we entered the final 3 laps, the two of us found ourselves paying the price for the effort made to get away early - I was also recovering from my efforts the day before (soloing to the win at Hog Hill).
There are only a finite number of turns you can miss before the group spits you out. On the bigger of the 2 climbs the 3 spat me and Jake out and that was that.
I looked at Jake and said 'lets just try not to get caught'. If only.
We were swallowed up within 15km of the line and that ended what could have been a much better day.
Solid effort and ambition. Could do better.
1 Andy Betts La Fuga Sigma Sport E
2 Nicolas Hutchings CS Grupetto 1
3 Andrew Hastings Finchley RT E
4 Jason White Cycle Premier E
5 Matthew Pilkington Progressive Cycle Development Squad 1 U23