Published on 2nd July 2019 | By Jake Causier

This blog post was written by Harrison Wood, a new rider funded by the Dave Rayner Fund for 2019. You can read the original post here.

I’m writing this blog after what can only be described as a hot race. On Sunday 2nd June I rode the Boucles du Tarn. A race located in Mazamet near to Castres. This was quite simply a lovely place. Great views, great roads and nice weather.

The race was an interesting one. With no flat roads at all in the race it meant in the 130kms of racing we covered 2200m of elevation. With 5 main climbs on the course it was going to be hard one. Each climb however was rather strange, it would kick off at around 8/9% but then flatten off to around 3 or 4%. For those who have experienced that kind of gradient its super hard racing when the race is full gas. Each climb was around 10 or 15kms like this.

The race started and I stayed in the peloton, an early break of 9 went but that was bought back to around 30seconds on the 2nd climb of the day. A group of 4 then went across and i had a feeling i needed to bridge. So i did. Across I went solo. OUCH!… I made it across and we were riding chaingang on the nasty drag, I never was able to recover for around 20mins. Eventually we hit the descent. On the next climb a group of 20 came across making for around 35 guys at the front of the race…

However at this point the temperature was reaching around 34 to 35 degrees. I was struggling to eat and this meant with 15kms i suffered and was dropped from what was the 2nd group. I cruised my way to the finish ahead of what was left of the peloton in a small group of 6 guys.

All in all it was a good race. I struggled in the heat a bit and this was my first race in that kind of heat for about a year. I will now be focusing on adapting to it in Aix en Provence where the temperature is currently around 28 degrees.

The next few races are as follows:

  • Volta Castello U23 13th-16th June
  • National Championships UK 27th and 30th June

Once again many thanks to the Dave Rayner fund for supporting me this season and allowing me to race at this high level in France and the rest of Europe in 2019.

Another mention must go to Bay Cycles and Molyneux Associates for also supporting me this season.