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RAS – TOUR OF WALES ( STAGE ONE ) By Tavis Walker

6 Riders from Inverse Jim, shop Nils, David, Jason, Tom and Tav completed Stage 1 (5.4 mile individual TT Prologue) of the Ras De Cymru. There are a number of very strong teams, some having just come back from racing in Belgium and other areas of Europe. Despite being a cat 2,3,4 race, riders racing on the continent or from the Isle of Man do not collect BC points, so can still race these events!

The prologue was the opportunity to try and grab the yellow Jersey, early, for the tomorrows open road race and get the team a good placing.

Chatting to Nils (veteran of a previous Ras) and Jason, who had just completed the course,
they described the course as rolling with a head wind in the last quarter which made it hard to get a good Rhythm going. This proved to be the case, not being much of a spinner trying to monster over these rises in 53-11. No TT adapted bikes were allowed. I felt good over the duration of the course and as soon as the speed dropped slightly I just conjured up the image of chasing after Willier riders which has been a familiar scene over the last month at the Upavon and Castle Combe Crits .

I passed Jim on his run, on my way back to the start and the expression of pain mixed with concentration on his face
was brutal. Having not done many TTs before I was not too sure what a good time was to aim for, I was told a rider form the Isle of Man had just done it in 11.04 and was probably currently the fastest. When I checked the speed o at the end and it said 10:52, I was not sure if it had started until half way up the first hill! However this turned out to be the seconded fastest time with Clive Nicholls of High Wycombe CC winning the stage.

Tomorrows stage is a 55 mile course with at least one significant climb that has to be ascended 6 times. With a good team performance tomorrow there is every chance to bring home the yellow Jersey and climb up the team rankings.