Jon Freeman returns from injury to win at Milland Hill
Jon Freeman arrived unsure of his form after injury at Petersfield on Sunday 14 March for the Surrey League Milland Hill 3rd cat race. Jon’s punchy uphill sprinting saw him move rapidly from cat 4 to cat 2 in 2014 and finish at the business end in stages of the Ras de Cymru in 2015, so the notorious 25% finish at Milland Hill looked tailor-made. As the race unfolded numerous Paceline riders went on the attack but nothing stuck. Until Jon decided to take the bull by the horns with two laps to go…
I was unsure how I would go today having done so little in the last 6 months, writes Jon. I realised after the first few laps I was more comfortable on the hill than most, so I decided to have a go there. I went hard from the bottom of the twisty drag at the end of the fifth lap, couldn’t see anybody behind me by the time I crested so pushed on along the flat and through the next draggy section.
I was sceptical I would be able to hold the lead for two laps solo but by the time I hit the dual carriageway an NEG rider came alongside and said I had 50 seconds, so that was the incentive to get my head down. I rode pretty hard for the whole of that lap to try and make sure I remained out of sight of the bunch, but by the time I hit the climb for the second time I was hurting.
Next time along the dual carriageway the gap was down to 30 seconds to a break of about six and another 20 to the bunch, so I just pushed on and managed to hold it to the line. I was seriously flagging by the end of the last lap and was sure I would get caught by the chase on the climb. I think I crossed the line with about 15 seconds on them and probably the same again on the bunch.
No data unfortunately as my Garmin’s up the spout. It happened though. Honest.