Stratford’s Cold Wind Takes its Toll

Leaving Porth a 7am on a Sunday morning, Club road racer Dean Cummings made the familiar journey to a race in the west Midlands, this time it was to Bearley, just north of Stratford upon Avon. Given the blue skies and with temperature of 15C, Dean hoped for a good ride in favourable conditions. The Solihull CC organised the Tommy Goodwin Memorial RR at Gearley , near Stratford upon Avon.  Arriving just before 9 am Dean was met a cloudy dark sky, a bitter north wind wind and temperatures around 7C.

The Tour of Cambridge was taking place on the same day which led to lower numbers than would normally be expected on this race. The Tour of Cambridge is a Worlds Qualifying Race and Sportive event.

Dean found the warm-up a struggle in the cold conditions and he could not get into his “race mind” before the event.

The race was 6 laps of an 8 mile course which had recently been resurfaced with spray and chippings covering the new tarmac.  The road was very heavy and Dean felt every pedal stroke.

Given that he could not get into the right mindset during the warm-up Dean could not get his tactics right for the race.  He was working too hard and too close to the front of the race in a brutal head/cross wind.  When the attacks started he was already at his limit and was dropped on Lap 3 with a few other riders. Dean raced on courageously for another two laps but decided to pull over when he heard the bell for the last Lap with 40 miles completed.

Being a little hard on himself, Dean was disappointed with himself as he felt his recent form meant he should have done better. The long journey and dramatic change in weather conditions would certainly have had an effect. An average speed of 20.7mph over 40 miles is a stat many readers of this article would be quite pleased with.

Dean has no definite plans for the coming weeks but we may be reading about a couple of TT’s or track races in the near future.

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