Team Probikekit.com rider – Jamie Howard gives us his race report from a windy (surprise surprise) Ilton Race on Saturday 27th March.
As my first race back after quite a long lay-off from a knee injury – I approached Ilton feeling pretty nervous about how I would perform. It’s a big unknown when you’re trying to come back to fitness so I decided to expect nothing and see what happened.
I was racing alongside fellow PBK team-mate James Smith. It was a big surprise to arrive and find out we had a team mechanic for the race! James had organised a chap called Mark Shoe from “the creaky crank” to look after our Cyfac bikes – we’ll post some more info about his company soon; but if you’re in the need for bike tuning services in the Somerton area – give him a call.
The days weather was pretty good overall – mixed sunshine and cloud and as always…….. windy as hell! Plenty riders were complaining about the early season cold before the race, but it’s all soon forgotten as the race gets under way.
With only 20 or so riders signed on, it looked to be an interesting race – riders keeping a close eye for any moves. On the second lap James Smith and Ben Luckwell rode up the road and managed to stay a good 45 seconds up on the bunch right till the end of the race. I heard James shout encouragement to me to “GO!!!” and as I stomped on it on the first corner of the second lap, Ben and James came through and the break formed – right into the wind. I didn’t have the confidence in my ability at my current level of fitness and decided not to attempt to hold on to it. Possible mistake? Well maybe, they didn’t come back but my excuse was to try and control any attempts to chase.
As it happened, a few other riders did get away but no-one caught Ben and James and they finished the race, Luckwell taking the win closely followed by our PBK rider James Smith.
I finished in the bunch with six up the road, coming fifth and netting me 11th place. I was pretty pleased with that overall and now feel I’ve got something good to build on. Next time I’ll have the confidence to be a bit more aggressive – we’ll see…..!!
Great to see the team racing in all conditions and across a wide range of distances/courses. Also pleased to see Team Manager – James Smith leading by example and racing hard and fast!