‘Local Riders – Local Races’ Tour of Dorset 1/2/3 category Stage Race Report – Tom Baylis

Stage 1 – 2mile Hilly TT

Tough course, even tougher heat, 30C and not even a breeze made the climb up through the quarry tough. After warming up well, I made the error of choosing the wrong depth of wheel in choosing 80mm’s instead of the 20mm’s. Consequently I lost out on the first leaders jersey by 3 seconds, finishing 5th.

Stage 2 – 75km Hilly RR
By the start of the race at midday, temperatures were still baking hot, after breaking away in the fist half of the race, I had to try and reel myself back in mentally so that I didn’t over cook it on such a physically challenging day, the race wasn’t too long, but the pace was relentless up the climbs. With 30km to go, there was a scare when the race exploded, as an attack went off the front containing 7 riders, people all over the peloton started to crack. I started to leapfrog through the groups of riders until with 15km to go the groups merged, bar 4 riders up the road, forming around 40 riders out of the 87 starters. As soon as it did, I started thinking about attacking as riders were looking tired, another rider had already made up his mind though as he attacked over the top to bridge the gap to the leaders. I reacted with 8km to go, driving it up the climb until one rider was left on my wheel. Down the technical decent I extended our advantage further. About to ascend the climb for the final time, we were joined by 4 more riders, together we closed down the gap to the leaders from 40 seconds to just 10 seconds by the final 1000m. I sprinted to finish 7th, losing 30 seconds on the new GC leader and stage winner, but was pleased with how I was feeling after a period of bad form.

Stage 3 – 3mile TT

Needing to limit the damage done to GC the previous day, I was hoping for a good TT and aiming for the stage win. Once again I missed out by just 3 seconds, this time to finish 4th.

Stage 4 – 100km RR

Again the temperature was hovering around 29/30C, so nutrition was vital today. After reviewing the race the previous day, I decided it would be best to sit in with the yellow jersey and attack him when the time was right. An early break slipped away with two riders high in GC within it. Their advantage held at around 40 seconds, but the problem was within the peloton. Only myself, the race leader and another rider were working to bring the break back. In the last 10km I sat in to recover for the sprint after breaking away with the yellow jersey. I recovered and went early in the bunch sprint, just beaten to the line by another rider when I made the error of changing down a gear on the climb. Finishing 9th was enough to put me in 6th place on overall GC.

Stage 1 = 5th Stage 2 = 7th Stage 3 = 4th Stage 4 = 9th GC = 6th