Ben Naylor reports from the City of Manchester circuit race series, 6th July 2011
“We turned up at Sport City near the Man City stadium on Wed night, weather was a bit iffy to say the least which made me quite nervous – it’s a twisty circuit with numerous hairpin bends, which can prove difficult in the rain! (as me and Webby both found out firsthand later!) At 7:15pm they open the circuit to you and then after a 15 min warm up they get you grouped on the start line.
I found the criterium race quite different to the TLI race we had previously done at Oulton Park; this was more strung out and not as consistently fast, more a case of slowing right down into corners and the sprinting out of them. This is constant throughout the 25 laps too, whereas the TLI race was a bunch riding together consistently fast at an average speed of 26 mph or somewhere around that. Anyway, I got left behind at the start, but Webby got in with some fairly fast lads and I couldn’t catch them. This made for an interesting game of catch up or cling on as it felt for me! Due to an unfortunate spill that ended in Webby coming off his bike we eventually regrouped and there were around 5 of us working together. With 4 or 5 laps to go it felt like we were really upping the speed towards the end. This proved a mistake for me on my last lap, I overcooked one of the final corners and washed out – luckily not taking anyone but myself out, but still: chain off, blood… it meant I buffered my race up! Gutted! I guess there is something to be said for relying on your fitness rather than just trying to go round the corners faster? Oh well, I didn’t do too much damage to myself or my bike, which is always a relief, but felt robbed of the sprint finish!
Big well done to Webby, though: 8th in the 4/3 category! Well done bro, I’ll be there with you next time I hope! After a brief visit to the medicine man we headed home happy and stoked! Looking forward to the next one. If anyone fancies getting involved then that would be brilliant, it’s immense fun and adds a bit of meaning to the training rides. BTW: we found that we needed ‘day licenses’, which where a tenner each – plus the entry fee (twelve quid each) – turns it into a dear do if you’re not prepared! So my advice is sort out a license and enter online beforehand, saves a good whack!
Anyway, hope to see you there.
City race series site here
Points standings after 6th July