A rare, sunny summers evening met the riders for the 2012 edition of the Peak RC evening road race in a glorious setting on the edge of the peak district national park.
We Love Mountain RT had 3 riders on the start line, Alex Mitchell, Tom Sutton and myself – all hoping for a strong team showing.
Right from the neutralised start it was clear that this would be one for the climbers with the bunch splitting on the first ascent. On the narrow climb of Fox Lane near Millthorpe the narrow road punishes poor positioning and many riders unjustly fell foul of opening gaps. One of these riders unfortunately was Alex who otherwise didn’t put much of a foot wrong throughout the race and rode strongly to keep in touch.
Tom admittedly struggled with the early pace but this is only to be expected on such a tough route after such a long layoff through illness. His form is improving daily and before long he’ll be back causing problems at the sharp end of such races as recent results are beginning to suggest. I managed to keep in the front group until the bell when the constant accelerations and 17% gradient began to take its toll on my 82kg frame. I kept within touch but could only muster a 12th place finish.
Happy with my performance but would of preferred a top 10. Alex rode strongly and showed tenacity to come in 15th. Local rider Steve Guymer showed climbing prowess to finish 3rd and claim the king of the mountains prize. But it was Hugh Carthy of champion systems who came in first for a well deserved victory.