Never give up!

There is never a better feeling when You can say: “I told You so…”

Last weekend top of the table clash at Poole might not have been a classic, but it was a classic, vintage Horspath performance. Last years, riding for Leicester, pushing them for that League title, you were waiting for news on their matches and hearing that they have won by one or two points, having been down at some point. I remember one match at Horspath when we were 12 up at some point, but still lost by 10! I never knew what to put it down to. Team spirit? Rising to the occasion? Performing better under pressure? We have had it all this Sunday.

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We have started very slow, with some tactical mistakes. I had a very quiet first couple of races from grid 4 and didn’t feel I could show my full potential. What’s more important we weren’t doing the basics and found ourselves 6 points down at one stage. The beauty of the club is, that riders develop into world beaters, quietly turn into top class performers. It happened with me too. It gives you a great boost when you need it most. Jack Harrold rides great this year, and not many have expected him to turn out this good. But the man of the match, or rather move of the match was most definitely Zac Payne’s pass on the former Hammer, Steve Harris. It was a turning point in the meeting and gave us a nice cushion going into last two races. It also showed a great team spirit and will to win.

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It puts us two points down and within a shout not only for the end of season Play Off, but a chance to win it outright. Poole’s last two matches are just as tough as their last match, with Wednesfield coming down the Harbourside, it will be difficult to beat them. Aces are wounded this year, having had their favorite tag stripped down in the first match of the season, when we beat them easily at home. They are back to their best, with no less than 5 British finalist in their team, they all riding very well at the moment. No matter what team the Comets can produce on the day, it will be a close match and the pressure is on them.

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On the personal front, the Sunday match was a debut for my new Archie Series Five. I finally got used to it and I love just as much as I liked the first one. Frame is very rigid and seems to be a faster bike. Not sure if it isn’t just a placebo effect, but I enjoy the feel and looking forward to developing my style on the new bike. Interesting thing happened during the match. I had to quickly change my front wheel as it was damaged in one of the races. Spare wheel had a Maxxis tyre on the front and I have to say it was nowhere near as grippy as the wider Small Block8 I had before. With a help of Mr Burgess we quickly changed it for my last race. I’m glad to see more riders using my favorite rubbers.

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Other news are also positive. I have now another sponsor.

NSB, North Shore Billet is my new partner. They have supplied me with a new stem, but what’s more important with new parts for my new chainset. I have opted out for a Sram Force chainset. Road set up gives me a narrower Q factor (distance between two pedals is narrower, potentially helping out with pedals to ground clearance when picking up). The company makes a spline mounted chainring which eliminates weak points of ring bolts. It is a one piece design with no bolts at all. It’s getting fitted next week, reports to follow.

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Watch this space for Urban Speedway. Great news to come.

photo: P.Payne

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