Jakey Cakey… watch this space!
The amateur race scene in the UK is a tough place to learn your trade. But as results from Team GB have shown over the past 10 or so years the process of young prospects riding themselves into the sights of team managers on local circuits and rainy morning back roads is definitely working.
One such rider who is smashing the competition left, right and centre with his trade mark solo escapes, known as ‘Jakeaways’ is Jake Martin riding for Kingsnorth International Wheelers. At the time of writing he is currently sitting in 2nd place in the British Cycling Elite Men standings for road and track racing – a leader board that he shares with some top class pro’s including Ed Clancy MBE, Yanto Barker, Ian Bibby and journeyman Dean Downing (all of whom are below him I should add!)
Not only is Jake taking big wins on the track and road, he’s also started blogging his exploits and I must say I think his writing is as striking as the luminous yellow streaks that seem to adorn almost every part of kit Jake races in! I hope to be able to feature more of Jake’s writing throughout the season but for now, feast your eyes on his latest blog about racing at the famous and prestigious Herne Hill velodrome in London.
Canyon V-Drome / Track Racing! - Jake Martin
A week or so ago, I discovered a crack in my beloved Canyon Ultimate AL [frame]. Caused I think from hitting the most colossal pot hole in the Roy Thame Cup in March. Luckily as the frame is a beast, it managed to hold up through two road races and 3 circuit races before I noticed said crack. I emailed the guys at Canyon UK, of whom I’d been tweeting to keep them updated on the wins I’d been having on their bike! They said to bring the bike over to their offices in Kingston. And have since ordered me a new frame which is due in the next few days!
In the meantime, they said I could borrow their Canyon V-Drome for the VC Londres Open meeting. I obviously obliged!
The bike was kitted out with Dura ace hubbed deep section wheels, the frame was aero and very stiff with a great aggressive geometry. It looks pretty badass too! I did have to put a bigger gear on, but I’m silly with gears. And I put a 140mm stem on, but I am lanky. It’ll be hard to give it back for sure! And was a pleasure to ride. Plenty admired it!
The racing was great fun. The first ever race I did, and the first ever race I won were both at Herne Hill Velodrome, so it’s always really good to come back and enjoy racing. I’ve always said my favourite race is a points race so I was excited to give it a crack after a year off from the track.
Racing got underway with a scratch race, I attacked a bit. Got 4th. Legs hurt. Lungs hurt. Ow.
That was followed by a One Kilometre TT, I got third and a PB with a 1.08. I had normal road bars and helmet on. And fluffed the start. So I was happy with that.
Next up, a devil…my normal tactic for these is to ride the whole race at the front and sprint-ish every lap. This worked until 4 laps to go when a Bec CC rider smashed it off the front, I eventually caught him after a flat out chase and sprinted past to the win.
After this was a points race. I attacked off of the line, a Jakeaway of sorts. Grabbed a couple of sprints then had to work hard to nab some extra points once I was caught. I ended with 10 points. One point clear of the second place rider.
The last race was a 20km scratch race. Being a roadie, I always like to attack and try to make the race hard. I stayed off the front for a good 15 laps, won a prime. But didn’t have the legs in the final sprint. 7th I think.
I’ve gone home with the normal cough that goes hand in hand with the first track meet of the year.
All in all a good outing! I think I got 26 more British Cycling license points, bringing me up to 220 and maybe back into the place of first Elite category rider in the UK…and £59, which is also handy!! Cake money.
A special little mention to Andrew Bradshaw who organized the whole meeting at the age of 17 and still managed to race the B category races! Very impressive. Cheers!