Sixteen year old junior Tom Day (Giant CC-Halo Films) finished in 22nd place at Perfs, just a couple of minutes down on the 19 year old "veteran" Jacob Vaughan. Riding his first race as a junior and on restricted gears, Day rode confidently and was never out of his depth, finishing in the same group as Mottram, Hutchings, Mingay, McNamara et al. We asked Tom for his thoughts on the day and like a diligent student the youngster from Poole sent us an essay. He suggested we edit his words but we dont think we could make them any better....
"What place does Perfs pedal race have for a first year Junior? I think most people were expecting I would be dropped after the first lap, but I knew it would go hard from the start so I warmed up well before the start and positioned myself towards the front so I didn’t get caught up with riders dropping off the back.
I wasn’t confident of my form coming into my first road race as a Junior. The youth races tend to be held on flat circuits and only last 45 minutes so they suit the sprinters. I’ve dramatically changed my winter training and focused on lots of base miles which I hope will pay dividends this year.
Local knowledge also played a big part as I’d been out most weeks doing a chain-gang on the Perfs course. I got dropped a couple of times because I rode my winter bike which is 10 kilos or more. Looking back that probably helped!
The race was the hardest I’ve ever done, but I got lots of support from locals around the course and an opportunity to ride against such a quality field kept me going.
Laps one and two were the hardest with the bunch pushing over the top of Portsdown Hill. Luckily the headwind on the downhill meant the junior gearing wasn’t a problem. The remaining laps settled down and with the main field whittled down to about 30 riders I was feeling comfortable coming into the last 5 miles. I stayed clear of the crash at the bottom of the last climb and pushed hard to the finish, coming in 22nd place.
So, what place does Perfs have for a first year Junior…. Great opportunity and great experience. Thank you Perfs organisation and I’ll be back next year for another crack."
In his first year as a Junior Tom is keen to get as much experience as he can and hopes to race in Belgium and the Netherlands later on in the season. Comfortable on the track and against the clock it could be an exciting year for the young all-rounder.