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Oli Bates At The Rutland Classic

Post-Race blog by RideRevolution coached athlete Oli Bates

The race itself started in Oakham and usually we’d be preparing to tackle two laps of the Rutland Water Reservoir, however this year we were headed for 2 x 2/3 laps and 2 x full laps of the Race Organiser, Colin Clews’, home village of Wymondham. These were contested slower than I was expecting, but a small group of 3 riders managed to clip off the front and at one point would find themselves with a 7-and-a-half-minute lead.

Cicle Classic - RideRevolution

Matt came unstuck before we hit the sectors properly, when he rode over some loose gravel out of a roundabout and came down heavily on his hip. Thankfully he’s okay barring some road rash and bruising. He made his way to the feed zone to find our two helpers, Billy and Sarah, and then went on to take some pretty good pictures.

We successfully navigated through the feed zone with 85% of the riders taking on nutrition from their various helpers. With us all in such close proximity it was little wonder that there would be a bunching up of the peloton when we went through, so it’s a big fight to make sure you don’t lose contact out the other side of the feed.

Cicle Classic 2018

Will had his chain slip off the chainring just as we were making our next ascent into Somerby (as it happens this isn’t one of the classified “bergs”). Nevertheless, I thought that could have been his race done. But after a chase back, including a wrong turn, he found his way back to the group I was in. Just in time for us to go through the feed the last time… when suddenly I found myself on the deck.

Another rider turned sharply just in front of me which caused me to fall off. Charles Walker, Spirit Tifosi, also fell off, landing on top of me and someone else happened to crash into him. I was back on my feet as soon as possible and with another spike in adrenalin I was back up to Will soon enough.

Oli Bates at the 2019 Cicle Classic

After the last time through the feed it’s the race for home, or in this case Melton Mowbray. You would be let off for thinking this is where it gets easy, it certainly does not. You’re still very likely to get a late puncture on one of the final sectors (Stapleford Park or the Sawgate), and then there are the constant attacks from whatever group you happen to be in. What didn’t help was having 50% of the Vitus team in our group unwilling to help chase back on…

The winner, Colin Joyce, would go over the line over 7 minutes before me. But does that dishearten me? Not in the slightest. I finished in 55th. Out of the 172 starters on the day I’m happy that I finished within the top third. But I know I can do better and I look forward to trying my hand at the Hell of East Midlands all over again in 2020. Before that though I better get ready for all of the other races I’ve got planned for this year!

Post Race feed Cicle Classic

My thanks to my Flamme Rouge RT team mates, thanks to all of the help we had before the event from Flamme Rouge Cycles, thanks to all of the help we had on the day of the event from Dave, Dan, Billy and Sarah, thanks to Jake at RideRevolution for the coaching, and a big thank you to all of the sponsors without whom we wouldn’t be riding such events.