NLTCBMBC outdid themselves. With some great planning and organisation everything went their way on Sunday and we’re stoked for them. The format worked as everyone got some good qualification times and everyone got to race the main event (fastest riders from qualifying at the front). Chapeau guys, it was a great day.
Thundercrit is basically the first important fixed criterium in London (probably England) in 2 years and in that time the scene has changed a heck of a lot. There are new faces, new teams, more money and sponsorship and the RHC had come to town. It seemed everyone at the front of the race had something to prove, including ourselves.
Brutal headwind on the drag and a livid pace being set (44kph race average) meant that no breakaway could stay away and the bunch just got smaller and smaller. George and I felt good and we battered the hell out of the bunch taking it in turns to attack. At one point, after trying everything we both went and managed a small gap before being wrung in. 3 failed primes (I came second in the first two which is well depressing, all that effort!) and the laps continued to count down, the sprint was coming.
We didn’t really have a plan, I figured a strong break would form and the race would be won from that. I was wrong and the sprint plan we had was basically the person at the front for the kick would lead the other out. As it happened that was me and true to form it was Dimi who kicked and he kicks like a goddamn horse.
Dimi went from the last lap siren and briefly aided by a little bunch chop chop got one hell of a gap. I was quick to react and praying George was behind me I dug in and chased him down hard. It took half the lap to bridge and by then I knew my sprint was out, I was now solely working for George. Everyone knows what to do here, keep it impossibly fast on the front to string it out, make it murder for anyone to come up the side and pray your team-mate is where they should be.
George was where he should be and came round perfectly in the last 50m. In the end though there was one stronger on the day, he raced smart, won and even apologised for it on the podium!
George and I had a shit tonne of fun, attacked a lot and came away with 2nd and 3rd. We’re proud of that, proud of NLTCBMBC and proud to race in a community that proved to itself this weekend how awesome it is in England. Thankfully we don’t have to wait long for the next race as the Nocturne is back! Bring your race legs, we’ll see you there.