Last month FWCC heart and lung transplantee Steve Donaldson was in glamourous racing action in Northern Italy. This week he was in Birmingham, at the 2018 British Transplant Games. Held annually since 1978, the Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encourage transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst also increasing public awareness of the need to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families. Donaldson more than lived up to those sporting ideals in the time trial by coming ninth overall, and fourth in his age group. Comprised of three laps of a dry 1.4km circuit, this was maximum cardiovascular effort from the start. Donaldson only missed a medal-winning spot in his category by four seconds but had no reason for complaint. The winner was an ex-professional cyclist from the 1980's, which goes to show how high the standards were. In the road race there were 37 riders on the start line and Donaldson's tactic (heard often, especially on FWCC Club Runs) was to stay near the front, but not 'at' the front. It started well. A quick dash to the first hairpin saw Donaldson go round it in second place. The bunch then strung out like a piece of elastic and the attrition started. Every couple of laps the group would get smaller as riders, unable to keep up the pace, dropped off the back. There were a few attacks out of the corners and on the uphill sections, but holding that 'near the front, but not at the front' position really helped. With two laps to go it was time for Donaldson to invoke phase two of his tactical plan by focussing on positioning and covering any gaps and attacks. Donaldson was still in the bunch, and going into the final lap he thought he might have a chance. But out of the final hairpin with 600m to go the last attack went â spearheaded by the eighties ex-professional â and despite his own illustrious 1980's racing career Donaldson just couldnât get on to his wheel. Phase three of the tactical plan (i.e. push down on the pedals harder than everyone else) went slightly awry at this point as the headwind was just too much and a gap opened, made worse by an agonising uphill sprint for the line. Donaldson finished eleventh overall and fifth in age group, with Mike Oliver (the ex-pro) placing second overall and winning the category. An absolutely superb effort all round.