Charge of the Rhino

Muswell Hill has a new brasserie, and The Wattmeister, famed for his imaginary breakaways in the Tour de France, loves all things French.

He and the Wattmeisterin, conqueror of Mont Ventoux less than a month ago, decided to check out the special set menu. They were not disappointed. The food and service was good, and, flatteringly, the sommelier thought that he recognised TW from a breakaway group which formed in the village of St. Etienne de Cuines at the base of the Col du Glandon in the 1983 Tour.

Arriving home in a good mood, The Wattmeister laid out his maillot jaune pyjamas in anticipation of a strong showing around Regents Park the following morning.

A smaller than usual team formed at the meeting place. Rapid Ben, Judge, Lion King, Big Mig, Rapha Paul, Pistol, Alex, David C  and The Wattmeister were joined in the park by Gav and Wolf.

Somehow the group split before the ‘warm-up’ lap had barely started. TW, Gav, Pistol, Judge and Rapha quickly realised that the front team were not going to wait. There followed a couple of laps of reluctant chasing, all the while watching the gap grow bigger with each pedal stroke.

Salvation was a hand though, as Rhino and Micky from RPR Rouleurs came charging by. These two beefy guys were putting out the kind of watts that The Wattmeister can only dream about nowadays. It was a gift not to be sniffed at. Pistol, Gav and TW jumped on and were rewarded with a magnificent tow and twenty minutes of looking at Rhino’s backside. The pachyderm churned out 16 kms in 24 minutes and dragged the forlorn trio up to their erstwhile teammates.

After this surprise regrouping and entering the final lap, Big Mig punctured which eliminated him from the sprint. With 1700 metres to go, David C and Gav launched a strong move off the front of the peloton. It was left to The Wattmeister to hold the gap, but at 175 bpm, and with no help, the effort was a strain. At 400m to go, Wolf pounced but it was too late and Gavin held on comfortably with TW in third. A superlative effort by Gavin and a just prize for his endeavour.

We missed some regulars, but a thrilling ride once again. Thanks to Rhino and Micky for their selfless drive on the front.

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