58th GP Recioto

So the weekend began with a drive up to Negrar where our hotel was.  After a few wrong turns we arrived mid to late-afternoon to get sorted and go out on the bikes to have a look at the course.  We did a few laps of the circuit before getting back and ready for tea.  It’s fair to say that waiting to eat felt like a long time.  So once the rest had arrived from a days racing at Belvedere we had our tea just the standard pre-race pasta and washed down with the usual sparkling water.  Then it was time to get ready for bed and have an earlyish night after the usual pre-race stretch.  The next morning came around after a decent nights sleep and with the clouds dark and ready to burst it was race day, nothing like a bit of mood to add to the race.  We went down for breakfast which consisted of mainly biscuits which I’m sure the race supporters didn’t mind.  Then we decided to go for a drive up the final climb of the day where the race would then finish after the decent.  Then it was time to get back and have our 10 o’clock rice.  I went big with the rice knowing that a fair few calories were needed for the race.  Once that was finished we went back up to the room to finish packing the bags and sorting ourselves out before leaving to the race.  Once we arrived we got ready and prepared ourselves for the swimming race and with the weather making me feel at home.  We went to sign on and then go for a quick warm up, straight into a 20% climb ha ha.  With the legs feeling warmed up we went to get lined up and the race began, (nice to see a few familiar faces).  It began fast with lots of teams attacking and trying to stay at the front, this meant it was quite sketchy.  Later seeing it must have been a sketchy race in the convoy too with a car crashing through a fence and over a wall.  The race then settled down a little with a strong break of around ten riders establishing itself at the front of the race.  Colpack then began to control the race and tried to drag the break back.  After a hard few laps a good number of the break had been brought back but still some riders were out front.  This meant that going into the final big climb the pace was still on as Dimension Data were trying to bring the race back together.  This meant that only 20-25 riders were still in contact with the bunch going into the climb.  Then the pace was kept on by Dimension Data with people quickly getting dropped out of the bunch until cresting the first part of the climb there were only around 15 riders left in the bunch which I managed to make it into.  After this there was an up and down section with some twisty turns with the pace still on as we hit the final part of the climb which was around 5 KM long.  This is where the pace was ramped up and riders quickly began to lose the wheels.  Unfortunately I was a few riders back from the front so as a few riders lost the wheel in front I didn’t have the legs to close it down which meant the groups behind including me, around 6 of us not working as full on as the group in front the gap quickly went out.  Once the flatter section had hit the steeper part I began to get into a good rhythm which meant I was able to get clear of the group and now commit to an effort of around 2KM to see if I could catch anyone before the decent.  I managed to catch sight of a group of 4 riders, a few turns ahead, this spurred me on to catch them and as I turned onto the beginning of the decent I was only 50 or so metres from the back of the group which I managed to close on the decent.  With everyone descending as fast as they could I managed to pass a rider who was losing the wheels and then once the descent flattened out a little I go straight onto the front seeing if I could get closer to the riders ahead as well as keeping the gap on the riders behind. As we came into the final KM no one wanted to take up the front so I rode at a hard enough tempo to make sure no one from behind was to come back.  Turning round the sketchy wet cobbles I started my sprint with the finishing straight lasting what felt like an eternity I was passed by 3 of the riders and finished 12th place.

Mason Hollyman