Dragon report 20/3/16
The Wormingford Dragon was an Audax route ran between 2014-15 and one which Colvelo has decided to keep alive. No brevet card on offer, just the chance to put some kilometres in the legs before the Colvelo “Monuments” which are quickly approaching.
A challenging 243km day out, the original route headed north-west to Newmarket before skirting east to Debenham, then diving south back to Colchester. However our iteration added an extra stop at Finchingfield to keep the spirits up on the outward leg.
A capable group left Colchester at 7am with the intention of good progress around the loop. A biting northerly wind split the peloton slightly but all arrived at Finchingfield feeling good. However a slight setback as it would appear the village doesn’t awake until gone 9am, and nearly an hours wait in the cold didn’t appeal. So we tapped on into Suffolk, the increasing frequency of stud farms indicating that Newmarket wasn’t far off. By the first stop we were 90km in, a good volume but the distance was showing in some of the riders. A quick coffee and feed kept everyone chipper, and we set off for the Maglia Rosso café, a former control point on the original Dragon. By now the attritional route and conditions had deterred a few from continuing, and we were further sobered by the TV coverage of Milan-San Remo, which showed that the pros had done over 100km more than us, and also had the benefit of a lay in!
A reduced group continued on to Debenham, clinging onto the thought of a tail wind for the southbound leg back home. Those who were left were keen to make progress, so the pace ratcheted up from here. A quick cup of tea at Debenham and we made for Hadleigh, lights blinking and legs starting to flag. It’s always comforting to see signs for home, and this raised our mood as we hammered through Hadleigh, and back into Stratford St Mary where the group went their separate ways to head into our varying corners of Colchester.
To summarise a tough day out but justice was done to the original Dragon route. A great effort by all regardless of distance ridden. The Ronde van Anglia fast approaches and this gave all involved an idea of what to work on between now and then.
Chapeau to all.