Blog: Tom Murray – Can’t beat the crits

One last podium presentation, one last interview, one last attempt to get out of the city centre you spent hours before the event trying to get yourself and your belongings into and the crit season 2011 is pretty much done.

It all started in Durham (Halfords Tour Series), ages ago on a cobbled hill (is Durham a crit, I’m not convinced) and ended in Preston under the market roof, or under the roof of Pizza Express over a peroni more accurately. In between, I’ve managed to stand on a few podiums, lose skin, get run over by the bunch, get lost in the majority of the cities within British Isles, get to know Premier Inn staff on a first name basis, have meetings to discuss the predictability of the Welsh wind and eat a lot of service station food.

Tom, third from left, is presented to the crowd in Durham.

There were some pretty high points, the Sigma Sport Specialized team’s Peterborough local from Cornwall?!?!, Steve Lampier, won the Tour Series sprint jersey overall down in Canary Warf, which was cool. I even got a slice of his fame for my lead out efforts on the last day. The National Circuit race championships went right for me this time round as everyone in the race winning break made it round the last lap without falling off this year and I sprinted over the cobbles to claim the bronze medal and achieve one of my major aims for 2011, although it makes the aim for 2012 that bit harder.

I managed to ride well throughout the elite crit series to third overall and third in the last round in Preston, grabbing some good podium time and possibly most important high of them all, the Table-Table restaurants at the Premier Inn’s finally launched a new menu in the middle of all that! Never underestimate the effect of food upon a bike rider’s morale!

Trying to go clear halfway through the crit at Preston last weekend and is joined by Simon Yates.

There were some low points in there. If you’re going to hit the deck in a crit, don’t do it in the very first one in Durham and from sixth wheel so you get run over by the whole bunch and have to sit in the van all the way to Aberystwyth and back with limited skin and we never got to have the five a side football Tour Series special we dreamt up at Aberystwyth football club. I really think that was a viable option given the gale force winds on the seafront and the amount of Australian’s that now race within the British peloton… working conditions and all that.

But now it’s all over, the crowds will head off, stopping by for the Tour of Britain at the end of the year, the media interest will simmer and the service station woman who holds the till at 3 am for three bike riders to choose their pick and mix for the next stage of the trip, will get lonely. At least until 2012, when it’ll be all systems go again, life will get crazy, time will disappear and hotel menu’s will be all exciting and new (fingers crossed).


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Bronze medal at the Crit Champs … Tom (right)

Tom attacks with a lap to go at the crit nationals…

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