Fabio Close 1st week racing, CDNW Round 1 Southport
Saturday saw Fabio race for the first time this season in Southport. Here is his first report.
On Saturday I raced at Victoria Park in Southport. The weather was cold and cloudy but no wind for a change. The circuit was a tight road, about the width of a car and about a kilometre long. The 1st race was a 4 lap race and there were 41 riders on the start line! The commisaire moved me to the back because there wasn’t enough room at the front. I got my foot clipped in straight away and road in the gutter to the main group. The pace was very quick 25mph+. There were a few tight corners which were hard to navigate in a bunch of 41. 8 Riders made a break and I was one of them. We stayed out until the end and on the last corner I was 8th wheel. I sprinted down the side and took the inside of the corner which was a risky move but I had to do it because there was no way of getting past anyone on the final straight. I got myself up to 5th wheel and belted it up the inside but only managed to gain one place and came 4th.
The 2nd race was 18 laps long and this time I started at the front. I got my foot clipped in straight away and sprinted straight off followed by 2 other riders. We were caught by 5 riders and were in the same bunch as the previous race. Again the pace was fast and we caught some slower riders in 4 laps! We surpassed them and went straight on. The next 5 laps were extremely dangerous as we lapped almost everyone then on the 11th lap 2 people crashed out and the race was black flagged. We waited 1 hour for the ambulance and the girl was stretchered off and taken to hospital. The race went on and they pulled out all the lapped riders and the leading group were set off 10 seconds ahead of the peloton. In this 10 seconds we worked like dogs to create a gap big enough to keep us safe and then the race went a bit cat and mouse. The pace slowed down as legs seized up and then someone attacked with 2 laps to go and we left him out for about three quarters of a lap to tire him out and we reeled him back in. As soon as the bell went everyone was looking at each other waiting for an attack but nothing happened. We made it to the 2nd to last corner at about 18mph. At this speed it was safe enough to move my way to the front. When I got to the front an attack went but lasted about 20 metres and they fell back as we sprinted past him. I was about 6th wheel in the sprint and went wide and sprinted. I only got fourth on the line which I was okay with but could of done better.
It was my first race of the season and I needed to get my legs back into racing form. I’m racing at the same circuit next week so I can hopefully improve on these results.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Fabio on the good start to the season. Pedal for you life Fabio and remember what Brad Wiggins told you that day, “Have Fun”. I can see from the photographs and what you have told me that you are getting better with every pedal stroke so keep it up. Good luck at the track this week and let me know how that goes too. Good luck for next weekend.