In the photo: Mathias Jacquelin
Written by Mathias - please excuse grammar, he's French :P
This was the first time I was doing Winchester Circuit Race. A teammate had mentioned that the course was fun and would suit me well so I decided to give it a try this season. I wasn’t disappointed as I think is probably one of the most exciting course of the Red Kite Omnium. It is very well suited for punchers as the climbs are not really long. The 3/4's race was my second race of the day, starting one hour after I gave everything I had in order to finish with the leaders in the 2/3’s race. I raced together with Conor, who had already raced the 4's race.
As the race started, we rolled smoothly at an easy pace, a fact I had no intention to disrupt at the moment. Nobody seemed to be willing to take any action. As I was pretty tired, my plan was to wait until one lap to go before trying to do something. Most of the race went that way, and I was making sure that the pace wasn’t too slow in the climbs so as to drop a few opponents.
Then my moment came, and starting a climb, I attacked… for 20 seconds before my legs told me “oh no, boy, you are staying in the pack !”. At this moment, I knew that it would be difficult to manage the end of the race, especially the uphill finish, so I decided to try another trick.
There is a short descent before the last climb. Coming to the last lap, I attacked again as we were cresting the bump before that descent, as I was expecting most people to just cruise there in preparation for the finish. I did create a small gap, and I started the final climb but here again, my legs told me that today wasn’t my day, and two riders passed me in the climb. I could not react as I was starting to have cramps. I managed my effort to finish the race at this place as this was the best I could do that day. I came in third, Conor 5th, concluding a nice sunny day in the rolling hills.