Race report from supported rider Toby Barnes
Yesterday was round 1 of the National Trophy series held at Moorways stadium, Derby. On Saturday when we went to practice the course the conditions were quite dry with some very slippy off-camber corners due to the rain in the morning. It was really useful so I could practice getting the right lines on the course which was slightly different to previous years, and get the right tyres and tyre pressures ready for the race.
Yesterday I went out on the course again at lunchtime to make my final tyre choice and remind myself of the racing lines. I was gridded on the 4th row, this being my first season as an u23. I got away well but a mechanical from a rider at the front caused me to slow down a bit and lose a few places. I was moving through the field for the first lap and was about 12th by the end of the lap. A split of 6 had already started to form at the front but I was too far back to be able to get with them. I settled into a group of 4, keeping a similar pace to the leading group for the first half of the race. Ian Field, who had a mechanical at the start, caught our group. When he went on the front and pushed the pace I made sure I was in 2nd or 3rd wheel as I knew this would cause the group to split. Two of the riders dropped off which left Ian, an u23 rider and myself racing for 7th. On the penultimate lap the pace was too much for me so I dropped off a bit and tried to maintain my speed to the end to secure 9th overall (5th u23).
I am really pleased with this result because most of the riders ahead of me are professional riders and it was my first elite UCI level race and elite National Trophy race. It has given me great confidence for round 2 in Scotland in 3 weeks.