After many longer base training rides recently, many of the RCC racing folk were very keen to get some brisk laps of Newdigate circuit in on Saturday morning. Also, the sunny dry weather meant some riders were keen to bring out shiny new hardware that would only up the pace!
Starting out from the sea of RCC riders at the aerodrome, ten of us set off on a warm up around the lanes of Brockham and Betchworth.
With riders doing a couple of minutes on the front before the group rotated by two in an anticlockwise direction, we had a constant supply of fresh legs to keep the group shifting.
Coming onto the Newdigate circuit down Henfold Hill, we started the first lap all together trying to get a smooth continuous anticlockwise chaingang going. The long draggy section down Rusper Road past the golf club gave everyone in the group a good status check (for the better or worse!) of their fitness level versus the group as a whole with various amounts of silent suffering going on.
Once we were onto Partridge Lane, riders were able to recover better as the high speed of the group meant the sheltered riders could output much less power compared to those on the front who had the full force of a 30mph airstream on them. We zipped past Norwood Paragon and Addiscombe groups climbing up the other way like a train.
Once the first lap was completed, we split into two groups - a lead group and a chase group...the latter giving a two minute head start to the lead group. Our chase group of five had to work hard but balance the effort against the ability of everyone in the group so we would not drop anyone. A five rider group is potentially stronger than a four rider group!
Sam unfortunately picked up a puncture about 2/3 the way around the lap as we passed over some tree cuttings so we were down to four riders for the remainder. All worked together really well, but we were beaten by a matter of seconds to the finish by the lead group! Next time I will give you one and a half mins guys!
To finish the ride, we spun over to Box Hill where some riders nailed the ascent up to the tea room and we bumped into some very jolly looking G4 riders.
From there it was just a case of enjoying the descent of Pebble Hill and rolling back into Reigate with a few sharp efforts.
Thanks to everyone in the group who showed really good riding skills and made it a thoroughly effective training session, and fun too!! I felt like sleeping all afternoon after that!
Garmin data is at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/139559490
Helmet-cam video is at http://youtu.be/83-3iocAAQo