The Lothian Flyer is held on a course near Stobo, near Peebles. It’s 6 laps of a 6ish mile loop with one smallish climb on it. It’s British Cycling regional C level (I think?) and is for Category 4 license holders, veterans and women racers. This was an event I thought I could do quite well in at the start of the year, as some clubmates of a similar standard to me got 2nd and 10th place.
The problem was, I have been ill over the last few weeks and as I was to find out, my legs deserted me when the pace got nippy up the climb. For four laps I was safely in the bunch, moving my way up and losing ground as other riders came around the outside- usual stuff. I sat in and recovered when I felt I needed it and dug in as best I could on the climb, although I am prone to lose alot of ground on the hills.
Coming up to lap 4 I wanted to be as near the front as possible because the hill began after a tight left-hand hairpin. I got up the bunch quite easily and sat in the strung-out line of lead riders feeling pretty comfortable. However, race-pace can be deceptive and I must have been using more energy than I thought at this stage, because come the climb, I went from front to back in the matter of a mile or so.
I have obviously not learned from the Gifford Road Race, where I spent a lap chasing back on to the bunch, and then working my way up to the front, before blowing completely on a climb. Tips for cat 4 riders: save your energy!
photos to follow.
The rest of the race went briliantly for Stirling BC, with powerful sprinter/time trialler Ian King providing a fast lead-out to strong climber Richard Macdonald to the bottom of the steep final climb. Richard unleashed everything he had and took the win- well done.