Published on 11th August 2017 | By Chris Walker

Mid season report. It’s August already?

It’s been a busy few months on & off the bike. May, June & the start of July ended up being pretty good. I’d learnt a lot compared to last year about how to race & found myself in most breaks during the races I’d been doing.

June proved itself to be my best month, getting 2nd, 10th and various other consistent results, these being in kermesses. For these something had just clicked for me, I think it was because I was hungrier than ever before to get results and make a difference in the races.

Romsee-Stavelot-Romsee was a race I’d hoped to get a good result in, this being a hilly interclub and one I’d done last year so I knew the parcour well. I placed 38th unfortunately, suffering cramp at the end of the race from extremely hot weather! Nevertheless I felt a huge improvement when compared with last year and was still at the front of the race with only 6 km to go.

In doing so, June had instilled a whole lot of confidence in me. Time spent with the team in certain races had given me a new leaf of confidence and experience for future races. The atmosphere is great & even though it’s one of the smaller teams we know we can make a difference in the bigger races.

Moving onto July, it was going well enough with an 11th place finish and various other races where I’d made the front splits. But sometimes the good can only last a certain amount of time before drawing to an inexplicable close. With my race craft improved, I wanted to try my luck in another interclub. This time it was a rolling parcour with lots of cobbles (Wanfercée-Baulet), after taking it easy in the first part of the race with a few important cobble sections I’d made the break after keeping a good position and avoiding the crashes. The gap had grown to 1:30 with most of the stand out riders featured in the break. I’d made it to the end of the last cobble section & boom flat tyre. First thing you do is to get your hand up in the air for a wheel change, but neutral service was already helping someone else out leaving me to wait it out and with it my favourable position at the front end of the race. That was my chance over in that race! But things like that make you realise it’s just part of racing & that you should keep focused and onto the next one.

At the end of July I moved to Tielt-Winge, this wasn’t planned & happened quickly. But it’s a great place, perfect for anyone racing out here. It’s had lots of riders in the past, both some, which have made it to the very top of, the sport & conversely some that didn’t. Its great to hear the stories behind the place from Tim Harris & Joscelin! Currently I’m just having a few days down time focusing and looking ahead onto the back end of the season to re-fresh my self.

I’ll be focusing on the kermesse racing, exploring the new area I’m living in (which is more rolling and therefore suited to my climbing abilities) & the Interclubs with the team for the remainder of the season. My aim for the next season is to get onto a team that race in the Top competition series, so my focus for the back end of the season is to get onto the top step; it’s just having the confidence and good fortune to do so.

This year has had its ups and downs so far which I think everyone has to a certain extent. I’m lucky given that it’s mainly been bike orientated as that can be fixed quickly and moved on from. A huge thanks to the Dave Rayner Fund, Hadlow Edwards wealth management & Globalbike for the support and everyone else who has helped me so far, as without that I wouldn’t be out here doing what I enjoy most!