Friday 24 August 2007

Summer Road Racing.......A Damp Squib

The summer road racing leagues have all but finished. Well, Herne Hill track league, Crystal Palace summer league and Eelmore have their final rounds next week. But as I'll be abroad by then in my book everything's finished.

Oh dear, what a mess it has been - so many Herne Hill leagues cancelled, Crystal Palace racing cancelled a number of times. The other circuits are safe enough for racing to still take place in the wet. But it's not that much fun. That's not what summer evening racing's about.

Summer league racing's meant to be about riding over from work in the evening sun, having a few of your club mates or friends and family cheer you on - in the case of Crystal Palace people can have picnics while watching. You finish your race and the evening is still pleasant enough for you to hang back and chat to mates afterwards or go for a bite.

Not such thing this summer. It's been a miserable affair - practically every race I've done I've been on tenterhooks all day wondering if the race would be on or off -whether I could get through the hour long crit in the dry. My preparation was more about how to survive the potentially unpleasant conditions than any particular racing tac-tics.

The women's national road race championships had to be postponed from June to August, due to flooding. But even then once the day came the race took place in heavy rain.

As for the promoters this must have been a nightmare for them. How much will they have lost ? And that's not money they can recoup.

People are very reticent about entering races now - especially at Herne Hill velodrome where racing is very weather dependent. Unfortunately now, the Keiren fest that was scheduled to take place on Bank Holiday Monday has been cancelled due to lack of entries. And I bet my bottom dollar the weather will be glorious on that day.

Once I'm back from my Pyrenean trip I'll have a few weekends of road racing to do during September. Hopefully, we will have an Indian summer - just in time for the Cyclo Cross season !!

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