The first of a two part race series over consecutive Sundays organised by San Fairy Ann Cycling Club at Kent Cyclopark had Caelan wondering about the turnout on the way down, especially as the weather was near perfect. Upon viewing the signing-in sheet he knew it was going to be a large field with under 10 racers from Welwyn Wheelers CC, Hillingdon Slipstreamers, Thanet RC, Wigmore CC, VC Londres and San Fairy Ann Cycling Club to name a few in attendance.
CJ stated that the difference in moving up a class was the intensity of the first lap as the older riders tried to spit him out. His only hope was to hang in and try to stay with them until the dust settled and he had earned his stripes to remain in the main field. Also, as he had raced the day before in the Winter in the Park series taking fifth with a sprint from the second group, so he was looking forward to his first ever back to back race weekender.
This time CJ clipped in quickly and immediately got up to pace with the leaders as near 70% of the field got ejected from the action. This left eight riders after lap one dicing for positions and having Joe Kiely from Welwyn putting in a few attacks but not being able to make a breakaway for long. CJ also had a team mate in the excellent Maya Tarlton and they worked well keeping in the bunch until the bell sounded with a lap to go. Midway through the lap Tom Davies of Welwyn attacked and moved comfortably from the bunch. CJ could not respond and decided to stay with the group until the final bend where he launched his sprint for about forty metres snatching second place.
There were a few surprised faces and he now knows he’ll be watched more carefully by the other racers in the field especially if a sprint will decide the outcome. Tarlton took first girl so a good result for the club though for the follow up he knows it’ll be hard going to get a top three for sure. Roll on Sunday.
A bitterly cold day greeted the riders and depleted the field for the second race in the series but those who did attend were all of hardy stock.
This time Caelan stayed with the lead group of five from Welwyn Wheelers CC, Thanet RC as well as VC Londres and the boys did barely enough to keep the second group from catching them. At times they were nearly coming to a halt as Caelan led them looking over his shoulder asking for help from the group.
I informed him after lap two to get off the front but he didn’t heed my advice and led for over 90% of the race. As the bell sounded the two Welwyn boys attacked with Caelan following in third and soon overtaken by the VC Londres racer but managed to hold fourth place.
He later told me he maintained the lead to keep the second group at bay and got no help from the others. Next time that happens Caelan says he’ll do a track stand if no one else does their share.
A good lesson learned at a young age methinks.