Scarborough National Series - 4/7/21 (by Mac Nisbett)
Wow! This race as been marked on the calendar for a few months now for one reason. In terms of terrain it is as close as you can get to a road race as a youth in this country. The race was 60mins long with the first lap being on the flatter top circuit before dropping down into the full circuit with a trip up the Oliver’s Mount climb (1min:15 seconds where 14% is about as easy as it gets. In the famous words of John Day ‘the bigger they are the harder they fall (by the wayside)’ and today was no exception. After staying in the top 30 of the 130 rider strong field for the first lap I weaved through to the front of the race on the climb. Next time round more were dropped and the groups began to form. After this I found myself in the second group on the road after an attack off the front by Alex Franks had created pain behind.
The hill continued to take its toll and with 3 laps to go my group had reduced to less than 10 riders, including the national no.1 and 2 others in the top 10 on the rankings, I pinched myself. We were relatively settled now - knowing we could pick off some dropped from the leading group but the front was out of reach. One thing I was sure was that in this company I didn’t owe anyone a strong turn.
Last lap. The Welwyn boys lead us into the last climb and everyone is on their limit, trying to stay in the wheels which we all do. We summit and just as I change back into the big ring the chain gets shipped. I manage to get it back on with some soft pedals but the group is 10m up the road. I chase and get on with momentum moving through the group before launching my sprint. Well launch is slightly unfair as after two pedal strokes I knew the legs were gone. It was 14th across the line, which I’m absolutely buzzing about. Now just to keep the form for national champs next weekend!
I owe a huge thank you to Pablo Marcos for getting me there in good shape and also to Gordon Wright who has generously given up his time to help me navigate these races.
It’s not quite lift off yet, but I’ve stepped into the rocket.