Keen road racer Dean Cummings left home at 5am to get to the start of the LVRC National Championships at Flintham in Nottinghamshire, a three hour drive before he turned a pedal. The race was held over 7 laps of a 7.9 mile course, as a D Cat rider he was competing against 55/59 age group riders in the C/D Cat group. Feeling very happy with his preparation Dean was comfortable holding a position between 10th and 15th in the group and did not need to panic as attackers took off the front. Of more concern to the former policeman was the road surface which changed around the course from metalled surfaces to country roads with potholes, gravel and grass verges. Dean said “These were probably the roughest surfaces I have ever ridden on”.
There was a slight rise to the finish line which gradually narrowed to a road barely wide enough for one car, this was followed by a sharp right onto another lane. Other sections of the course contained parked cars and overhanging bushes and branches, one of Dean’s fellow competitors described the course as “proper Belgian cycling”. Aware that there were riders in the group who were almost semi-professional standard there was always a possibility of a sudden breakaway. This came after two riders were caught followed by a short re-grouping then a kick from the stronger riders taking a sweeping left onto the Start/Finish area. Squeezed into the verge, Dean lost ground but although finding himself at the back he summoned up the energy to dig in and follow the wheel in front to maintain contact. The extremely rough section was reached and Dean found that hitting pot hole after pothole disrupted his rhythm at such a frantic pace.
Unfortunately this was race over for Dean and several other riders as the organisers had asked riders who were dropped to pull out of the race to avoid congestion on the circuit. On a particularly hot day the race was eventually contested by 6 or 7 of the top riders with the bunch strung out over the last lap. The race had covered 52.49 miles and Dean’s average speed was 23.6mph with a top speed of 34.5mph. For the anoraks amongst you Dean’s average watts were 201 with a maximum of 788. Well done Dean we look forward to hearing of more races.