the lack of pubs surrounding the course and what classes as a critical mechanical failure but on the whole a super successful day. We really liked the St.Pauls circuit it being narrow,
technical and flat which makes for fast,
heart poppingly strung out racing. The stuff we love and your friendly neighbourhood team in green were out en masse being strongly represented in the LeighDay, Mango Bikes and both the headline Elite races.
Miscommunication from organisers the race started 10 or maybe 15 minutes early (depending on which start sheet you were looking at) and right away there’s a crash. True to form I’m in the middle of it. Cut knee and elbows, bars bent out of alignment and some guys brake lever had pieced my jersey.
This was unusual and we were dumbfounded as to how to remedy the situation whilst everyone else scrambled for their bikes. Neil (racing buddy from team Kibosh) and I regained our composure and after a bit of yelling at whoever would take it we got round to the pits to take the rest of the lap out and rejoin the race. We joined in near the front and anyone who had anything to say about that quickly shut-up when Neil did nearly 4 laps on the front and I stuck a break-away with two other guys halfway through the race. We raced hard, set the pace and earned our position up there. I managed to finish 6th with Neil puncturing on the penultimate lap. The rest of the 5th boys, Reece, George and Raffa, rolled in with the pack.
Mango Bikes Track Crit
After a race that good i’m not gonna bother with being modest, we owned it. LaClassica (2/3’s of their team racing Nocturne are also 5th Floor) boys and us set the pace from the first to the very last lap. The two teams both worked with and attacked each other, and our lead group shelled more and more riders throughout the race. It was a hell of a lot of fun. Props to everyone racing and we imagine next year will be a very different scenario but this time it was ours. Raffa made a superhuman effort to bridge from what was nearly 20seconds back in the 2nd group to lead us all out in the last lap ensuring a safe sprint.
It was quick and Alec fairly comfortably took the win with me coming in just behind for 2nd and George for 3rd, Reece 7th and Raffa 8th. In our eyes thats a 5th 1/2/3!
I hit the booze pretty hard after the Mango Crit. I got handed a bottle of Proscecco and something dubbed a ’street martini’ (a thermos full of frozen Greygoose with a thimbleful of local hackney vermouth) so my memories are a little vague of the racing.
What I know is that I lost my voice from shouting encouragement to the 5th’s racing somewhere between seeing Soph drilling the front of the 2nd group in her race and Alec making what was to be the race winning break in his (later being forced to retire due to a mechanical). What a show!
Crit racing is such a good spectator sport and the Nocturne offers the broadest spectacle of that sort of racing anywhere. After a good day racing myself I had a fucking rad time! Finally and as usual with this sort of event I want to thank any and everyone who came to support, get drunk and shout at us. The crowds and the enthusiasm make these events what they are. Be it encouragement or abuse it all works, more so than I ever come to expect. So thank you!