Quite a few of the UK’s Test Team members have started racing, across all sorts of interesting disciplines including road racing, time trialling and CX beach racing! (more on this in a later post). After a few top tens, it hasn’t taken long for the team to register its first win. The prestigious Easter 2 Day Tour of Northumberland saw two Test Team riders take to the start line – Wilson Renwick in the E/1/2 event and Dominic Munnelly in the Masters.
Up against a strong field, Wilson managed to make the break of the day and was looking good until a typical Northumbrian hail storm brewed up on the last lap. Wilson lost contact with the group and soloed to the finish for 20th place. The following day’s stage Wilson missed the main move of around 20-25 riders. So with a couple more riders for company, Wilson’s group managed to bridge across only to find that the leading group had split. Going into the last lap, Wilson jumped away on his own, picking up some stragglers from the break to finish 17th on the day and 17th overall (provisional result).
The Master’s event saw an even more impressive result for the Parentini Test Team. Dom Munnelly has kindly sent in his own race report including a bit of background to our new member.
Tales from a Parentini Veteran
A bit about me… I’m 45 years old. Raced bikes as a Junior, quit when I discovered cheap lager at Uni. Started running to keep fit in my 20s and 30s, kids grew up, had more time, so what to do… get back on the bike.
Started racing again in my late 30s and managed 12th in the British TT Champs and National 50, bagged a few TT course records and won a few road races.
Had enough of racing at 40 so went back to running and set a few PBs, including 73mins for a Half Marathon. Problem is I kept getting injured so decided to get back to racing bikes in 2016.
My plan; a week of training on my own in Tenerife early in the year would be a good base to get going again. So, after a very tough week of riding in Tenerife, 40,000 ft of climbing and close to 400 miles I was wrecked!
I had entered the Easter 2 Day Tour of Northumberland thinking I would drag myself around, pretty much straight from the Airport, and view a good kicking as some brutal form of training.
To put my week in the sun into perspective – a typical week since Christmas has been Monday rest, Tuesday to Friday a quality hour/hour and half fasted before work, alternate easy day/hard day; all of this is in the garage on a Wattbike. In January I was struggling to average 250w for an hour, fast forward to March and I’m comfortable above 300w and seeing small percentage improvements each week. Most weekday evenings I do an hour of core and the occasional easy spin. Across Saturday and Sunday I might clock 100miles and 5,000 ft of climbing, all good quality miles. I’m not a fan of sitting on wheels and coasting along. When I ride I like to get home smashed and for this reason I avoid large groups during the winter knowing you’ll reap the rewards of battling with the blustery North of England headwinds.
So first road race for about 5 years and the kit from Parentini had arrived and it was time to pin that number on and roll out. Wearing the Mossa with a single long sleeved Pesante base layer and Tiger.2 shorts I’ve honestly never felt so comfortable in any cycling kit. The fit and cut of these products is superb and the Mossa, feeling like a tailored jacket, was the perfect attire for a chilly Spring weekend of racing. Good size pockets for gels and bars, nice long sleeves and a snug neck this is undoubtedly the best jacket I’d ever worn.
Racing underway, I was feeling relatively fresh and had a few early digs to open up the legs. Half way through the first lap of 5 I managed to get away on my own. Not a bad gap so I ploughed on and settled into a steady rhythm. My clothing was so comfortable I forgot I was wearing it, so I could just concentrate on the race and keeping the pedals turning. Hoping for a group to come across about 10 miles later they did, and with some good riders amongst them I was confident we could make this work.
Having picked up the first two primes I was intent on taking the remaining points so ensured I took these on each lap. The group started to tire and as we entered the final 11 mile lap I felt strong and fancied a long one off the front. The two efforts I made were both covered but reduced our group of 5 to 3 so I opted for the sprint. Not knowing anything about the ability of my two fellow competitors I waited for the move with 250/200 to go. Nothing happening so I led it out and took the win. Happy!
Stage 2 another chilly Spring morning as we rolled out. No cheap yellow jersey to wear, luckily I was still wrapped up and protected in my Parentini kit.
Yet again, early on I found myself off the front with one other rider and a decent gap. It looked like a repeat of Stage 1 was on the cards as a small group of riders bridged over to us.
Not to be; the main bunch hooked on and 20-30 miles of me covering attack after attack ensued. After a while complacency hit me and a young lad drifted off the front. Not thinking he was a risk (other than the top 3 on GC I was sitting on a 1 min 15 lead) I let him go. Big mistake! I was getting frustrated at the bunch not racing and as I sat up from chasing he and another rider hammered on. At one point they had a 2mins lead so with about 10 miles to go I just had to hit the front and smash it and forget concerns of the 2nd and 3rd placed riders jumping away or having the legs if it came to a sprint. I had the lead and had to defend it.
It wasn’t to be, I crossed the line 1 min 14 down and if not for place time bonus I would have won GC by 1 second! There was seconds in it but I went away with a good win and 2nd on GC. So I was one happy Parentini man; after 5 years without racing it was good to get back in the mix.
Next up this weekend a 10m TT and a 20m hilly TT. Should be fun as new TT bike has yet to arrive!