I’ve always had a soft spot for the Thin Lizzy track ‘Showdown‘ and that was the recurring tune as CJ headed into race three of the Winter Series finale tied for points with Tom Davies (Welwyn Wheelers CC). The 2013 Summer Series decider had him take 2nd overall and he had visions of a repeat scenario, though he took with him former under 16’s National youth champion Germain Burton’s advice “race with your head”.
Anyway, leading up to the ‘Showdown’ things were the usual ups and down on the Richter Scale of a youth cyclist, as race two saw him take 3rd and way off the pace as Jed Smithson (Oxon CC) and Tom Davies broke like wild horses not to be caught. CJ’s group worked hard to rein them in to no avail as Smithson took the spoils.
Again, it was Smithson who took the sprint at the Milton Keynes Bowl a couple of weeks later, so it was time to reflect or as MotoGP racer Scott Redding recently said “Don’t Count Every Race, Make Every Race Count”.
Well back to the ‘Showdown’ and with Smithson and Davies on the line for bad company and a large field, you could hear an Ennio Morricone whistle from a Spaghetti Western theme in the background.
The pace of the race was slow as no one wanted to pull the large group to full speed ahead, and all held their cards close to their cycle jerseys as with each lap it was becoming apparent that the hill climb would deliver the Coup de Grace. As the bell rang sending the race up the hill the other racers were swiftly dispatched as the trio steadily paced away without attacking each other.
As they turned into the alpine section it was Davies, Miller and Smithson until the penultimate corner where CJ took the lead only for Smithson to hit his wheel as he expected for the sprint….Alas, his turn from the sharp right hand bend was not its best leaving the inside line wide open, but he held the sprint to the flag by half a wheel.
He was pleased to deliver the Series to his team as well as looking forward to the podium presentation to follow especially as team mate Theo Modell took the under 14’s Series crown.
Yet again great racing by all the youths involved and the organisers.
Ciao for now…