Prudential RideLondon Youth Grand Prix

Last weekend saw the Prudential RideLondon take over the streets of London and it kicked off with youth races around the Olympic Park on Friday night. I was there representing Wales in the Youth A boys race. After the 5 hour drive, where I was kindly taken by Darren, I got to the Wales tent and prepared with my team mates for the race to come.image1-1

After our 20 minute warm-up on the rollers we headed over to the holding pen, and then we were let onto the circuit to roll around to the start line. I started near the back, but as the race was around 45 minutes long there was plenty of time to move up in the group. I quickly settled into the race and headed towards to front, as I knew I needed to be aggressive to get a good bunch position. After a few laps I soon got familiar with the circuit, it had a technical section where there was a lot of corners straight after the next. It also had a slight drag but we just carried our momentum straight over it, and the finish straight was short but we were going into a head wind along it. For the first third of the race I just followed the wheels, staying attentive near the front but not doing anything. So I could save my energy for the later parts of the race.

The race neared the half way stages and by this point it had been a very active race, but none of the attacks had stuck. I had tried to go with a few, but everything came back to one big bunch. Our team manager John Holt told us to race for individual placing, but in the back of my mind I knew we had a strong sprinter in the team in Josh Price, who could win a sprint finish. With this in the back of my mind, I was happy to do some strong turns on the front to keep it all together. image2-3

We were now coming into the final few laps and there was a solo rider off the front, with no one committing to the chase. I gave Josh a nod and got onto the point of the bunch. After a hard chase with the help of some other riders we bought it back together. It had all settled back down when we crossed the line for 2 laps to go, I was on the outside following another riders wheel who was looking like his was about to attack, I was getting ready to go with the acceleration. When he somehow got his handlebars caught with another set of handlebars, he came down and I went straight over the top landing on my head and shoulder. Once I got back up it felt like ages since I hit the deck, I managed to get back onto my bike and ride back to the pits, when John shouted try and finish the race. At this point I didn’t know where the finish line was and I couldn’t remember the majority of the race.image4

I was seen to straight away, and the gash I had on my knee was treated. I had got concussion from the crash, so the medic was thinking about sending me to hospital but I soon got back to normal after 10 minutes. Even though I had just been involved in a crash my first thought was did Josh win? I got the news that he did, and it made the pain a bit more bearable. I was obviously disappointed that I had crashed, as I felt I could have been up there battling for a top position, but I was still happy for Josh. Another great experience had, thanks Welsh Cycling for the opportunity!