24th June 2016
The Matrix Fitness GP, also known as the Tour Series, is a series of criterium races around the UK in May and June. The series is on television as an evening highlights show so automatically it makes the racing go up a level.
There are huge crowds on the street to watch us live but it’s hugely important for teams and sponsors to gain exposure from the coverage to viewers that may not have watched the racing on the night.
This year’s racing was a little different; the format of the races has changed meaning it was a team based competition. This lead the races to be a fight to get your whole team to the front to allow maximum points and the team win on the night. For us, Matrix Fitness, we had two riders that were riding the final four rounds of the series.
Stoke-on-Trent, the first round for us, was a dragging circuit with no flat sections. The first few riders set off round the first corner while myself and Corrine were still rolling over the start line and it was such a demanding circuit with flat out racing that we never even got a sight of the front. It was very disappointing for both of us but we just moved onto the next one.
A new challenge faced us at Croydon; it was wet, lots of corners, a few ups and downs which meant riders were a bit all over the place for the first few laps when it got settled. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind two crashes in one lap (very annoying and unlucky) which happened to be in the first 5 laps, so essentially my race was over. I found that one a little bit harder to stomach as I knew by then I had good form and legs going into it!
Now we move on to the good points, I bet you’re wondering what could possibly be good at starting at the back? But this is where Bailey of Bristol comes into things. If you’re a gridded team at the Matrix Fitness GP series you have to be at the start around 15 to 20 minutes before the start to get lined up. At this point riders did there warm up a long time before and are starting to get the dreaded ‘café legs’ on the start line. For myself and Corrine, we had the luxuries of the motorhome at the side of the circuit which meant while all the teams were panicking in a cramped layby on the circuit, also known as the pit, we were sat in the comforts of the motorhome without a care in the world. We could stay relaxed and focussed on the job in hand with everything around us that we need and a quick roll to the start line with 5 minutes to go.
All in all, the Matrix Fitness GP series had some massive highs and lows. The racing is so full on that you have to give it everything from the minute you roll away from the line, this means your body has no time to catch up. 4th place in Stevenage was my best result this season. The races were a mini target for me before heading to America for 10 similar criterium events in June. I got a few good rides, some which aren’t shown in the actual results because of last lap dramas but I’m pleased with how I rode. I always knew you had to ride aggressively in these types of races to get to where you want to be and that completely sums up the whole series.
Until next time.