A few attempts have gone and come back. One guy is persisting with a solo effort but nobody is putting anything together to reel him in. If these persist the elastic will eventually snap and some move will eventually go away but for the meantime it’s the usual surge-stop-surge-stop. 3-4 surges and that’s it, there’s a bunch of five breaking and I’m going with it.
I latch on and we away from the bunch with ease. OK lets push it on, don’t give the chasing bunch another bike length to get back on. I whip around the outside and straight to the front of the breakaway. The guy I pass at the front has already attempted 3 or 4 breaks today so I’m in good company. I’m still sitting at the front though and there’s nothing coming through. A quick look over my shoulder and the main protagonist fairly enough states “I’ve done my turn”.
The other 4-5 in the break it seems are happy to chase the breaks down and in using my newest cycling term “Sandbag it”. I get the point in chasing breaks down. I get playing to your strengths and waiting for the bunch sprint. I now get that if you want to breakaway you’ve got to work against the sandbaggers. After a few twitchy elbows I began to realise these guys had no intention of trying to get up the road. I peeled off and let my own frustrations manifest themselves in a declaration that the majority of my fellow breakees were “lazy b*stards”. Let it be known at this point, they aren’t and that they worked hard to nullify an attack. In my own frustration (that nobody would want to join my own carefully hatched plan, let alone read my mind to understand it) I let the situation get the better of me and a black cloud of my own creation settled in above my head.
Having resigned myself that a break was going nowhere, I sat in nicely around 10-15 in the bunch for the usual spin around. At this point I realise this could descend into rant territory but 3 incidents capitalised on my frustration whereas normally I’d pay no heed.
Firstly there was a guy who sat inside me constantly trying to force his way out of the centre of the bunch, to the point that he was forcing me and the guy outside me into oncoming traffic – This guy was asked to stop pushing lads into traffic and called a “fat c*nt!”.
Secondly at a left turn a guy completely chopped me out of it almost taking my front wheel away. This guy was duly told “if he does that again I’ll put him in a ditch!” (however, there was an admission of guilt on his behalf and this was swiftly resolved mid-bunch).
Finally on the run into the finish I got a shunt from my right which resulted in me leaning on a guy shoulder to shoulder at 50 kmph. At this point I was told to “shut up, I barely touched ye!” despite only saying “woah!” in a natural response to what could have easily been a slide along the floor.
I hold up my hands in saying I’m embarrassed at shouting my mouth off as it’s something I despise myself. They say they things you hate about others are in fact manifestations of your own shortcomings – this is very true. I let these minor events get to me and came away from the race frustrated and fed-up, having also finished well back in the bunch sprint. I will finally get the last few KMs right, this I promise myself but in the meantime I need to be staying focused and disregarding these incidents, the added frustration doesn’t help my cause.