I train and live up in Newcastle so thought I knew the roads and certainly knew what the Ryals hill on day 1 involved. A 1 in 6 hill that rears up like a wall by Stamfordham. Awful. Only word that describes it. However the Ryals was probably the smoothest bit of the course. Other features included a pothole so deep a marshall (the renowned Willy Thompson) took to standing waist deep in it to make sure no rider literally fell into it. The whole area was covered in smaller holes and it made for tough going. Sadly day 1 was not a roaring success and after about 50 mile I called it a day after my chain gave up on a pothole at a key moment.
I woke up on Sunday and decided to give it a better shot, annoyed at how things turned out yesterday. I was active at the start and tried to force the break but sadly missed it when it went. After a few laps sitting in and getting my breath back I ended up going up the road in a small group but this came to nothing again. That was it in my mind, race was over, roll round and get some training in. However with 2 laps to go I ended up in a group of 6 and we just rolled it to the finish. The race may have been over in my head, but always got to have a sprint so I went early and somehow held off the others and scraped my way into the top 20 (just..)
All in all therefore a good weekend racing for the Achieve-Skinnergate Racing team. While no results to shout about the team are getting back into the swing of things and hopefully that's blown some of the winter cobwebs away and we have now got our race heads on.