There's not much to say about this years installant of HOTN, our ride was blighted by 5 punctures (myself taking the lions share of the gang with 4 on the front wheel) and not to mention Rowland's rear derailleur hanger shearing off and snapping just as he descended into the forest section!
The ride was yet again treated to sublime perfect weather conditions, with the sun out and temperatures hovering around 21 degrees for the most part of the day.
The Rowland brothers hit the school track
This year there was a new sector taking in a deserted school yard, bringing back memories as the three of us queued for the water fountain. The ride was great, with 250 riders hammering down all manner of dirt tracks and gravel encrusted bridleways. A bottle of beligian brew and box of frites awaited every rider as we reached the pub in Barnet. For us three merry cyclists, this came a little sooner than anticipated after the derailleur hanger blow out. Cue some ingenious bike modifications and a broken chain and Si was able to TT with us straight to the pub after around mile 35 of the route. Although he had a 'banana chain' spirits were high, until my 4th puncture on the way home, due to my rim tape glue melting and the whole tape shifting to expose several holes! Minus points here for schwalbe tape!
testing mechanicals in the sun
All in all was a fab day in the sun and we chalked up 113k by the time we landed at home, albeit a little frazzled. And what about the race? a cracking result for the journey man Van Summeren, and in particular a bit of a fairytale ending, hammering out 5km on a flat tyre to propose to his girlfriend at the finish. Now thats what I want to see in my racing! fabulous stuff....
Gavin over at the wicked Spinwell blog was shooting the HOTN for rapha, so expect some wicked snaps appearing on their blog soon!