I had my 1st A4 race at Derrymacash GP yesterday and it was without doubt an eye opener! Having done numerous club level races and TT”s, I felt reasonably equipped to take my racing one step further and it definitely helped having that experience.
Having spoken to several members and got some pre race advice, I was still very apprehensive during race prep and getting ready for the start. After the initial push off the line and once underway, I quickly settled in with the group. I was actually pleasantly surprised that even though it was a race, everyone seemed courteous with regards to potholes and letting people move in and out to move up or down the group. I was under no illusion though, that it would heat up and may not be so hospitable nearer the end.
The course itself had a mix of flats, drags and slight decents with a nasty kicker about 3/4 the way in. The weather was nasty with 20mph winds and about 1 degree temperature with snow flurrys on and off.
I managed to stay with the tempo and in the group though the pace having started steady had begun to increase, I even managed to move up towards the front. I started to get into a good rhythm pushing deep going up the kicker but managing to recover in the group after.
This was all great until the A3 Race caught us and came through on the 3rd lap. The pace lifted again and I needed to go really deep when we hit the kicker and on this occasion I lost the back of the group and that was the last I seen of them! After another couple of laps I was suffering big time in the wind on my own. My mind and body was telling me to call it quits and pull in, but something was niggling at me to finish. As much as I convinced myself to pull in, I couldn’t. I just had in my head that I wanted to finish my 1st race no matter what.
Needless to say that they had just taken the finish line down as I eventually came home lol. In a way I was glad nobody was there! A big thanks to the members who cheered us on in those baltic conditions. A special thanks to William for driving round and making sure I was still upright lol. On to the next.