A Tough Day Out At The National Champs
The 2023 National Champs took place last weekend (July 1st-2nd) in Bashall Eaves near to Clitheroe.
The TT course was rolling with some steep climbs, making it technically demanding. Racing for the team was Elliot Rowe, Joe Cosgrove, Will Salter, Sam Fisher, and Bryn Lawrence.
First up was the Time Trial, an individual event covering one lap of the course and spanning 10.6miles. Joe Cosgrove was the first Anexo rider to take to the start line and clocked a time of 24:34.5. This would place him 17th overall; a strong ride for a first year.
Next up was Sam Fisher who finished 45th with a time of 26:34.8, followed by Bryn Lawrence in 38th clocking a time of 25:51.9. Elliot Rowe made 20th position with a time of 24:47.3 and last off was Will Salter in 25:13.5, placing him 28th overall.
Sunday’s race would see the Junior Men complete seven laps of the Bashall Eaves circuit with the race concluding on Birdy Brow. The riders rode out from the local school acting as HQ to the start line. Just like the TT race, the roads remained open, making things all the more difficult due to the narrow course.
Unfortunately, quite early on Sam Fisher dropped from the group after a strong start and we then received a call on the race radio that Bryn had an issue with his bike. We made our way through the convoy but by the time everything was resolved it proved impossible to get back to the main peloton and unfortunately Bryn would not finish the race.
Our misfortune continued as we received another call to alert us that Will Salter had an issue. We raced through the convoy to see Will off the back of the main peloton. Although at first, he seemed ok, we would later find out that a fly had gone into his eye and that was the end of his race.
In the meantime, with a much-depleted team, Cosgrove and Rowe tried to get in the break and get up the road. However, the more experienced teams were marshalling the peloton and were paying close attention to riders seeking to get in the winning move. Rowe, never one to give up, managed to get in the winning move and was looking good value for money for the win (or a spot on the podium at least) but unfortunately, he had some bad luck and dropped his chain, hitting a pothole on a descent.
He sorted the problem out himself as quickly as he could, but it was too late. The winning move wasn’t hanging about. In the meantime, Cosgrove was working hard to get off the front, but it was proving difficult as every attack was countered by teams who had a rider in the winning break.
Having worked with Rowe and Cosgrove all season, they worked their socks off to make something happen and get to the front of the race but with a lack of numbers it was always going to be tough. Rowe would finish the race in 14th and Cosgrove would finish in 26th. If we are going to make an impression on this type of race, we need to have all our riders at the front of the race working as a team and supporting each other for the win or a chance of being on the podium.