Thursday, 21 March 2013

Early Season Races, Exciting News and Plans for April

It's been a wee while since my last post so I thought I'd write a summary of what I've been up to. First up, my first race of the season, way back at the end of February was the ERC Season Starter races where the junior girls were racing with the youth A boys. There was a time trial and a crit race on, for one reason or another I wasn't going well and was 1st Junior girl in the TT but Rhona Callander did a time much fast than mine and shes only 15 so one to watch for the future! Luckily I still managed to beat my sister or I would have never heard the end of it, but I'm sure I won't be staying in front of her for long! In the crit race I again wasn't feeling great but I don't think that affected the result too much as it came down to a sprint and Flora flew past me in the final straight.

But first races done, if slightly disappointing, so a few days off to recover from whatever was wrong and onto the next race which was a team time trial down in the south west of Scotland. Me and Flora were riding together so we warmed up and did the race, I don't really know what else to say about a time trial! Turns out we went pretty quick because we won the womens race by 6 minutes, which was good because it meant I was over whatever I was suffering from the week before.

After a bit of illness the week after I was headed south again on Saturday morning to Lancaster for the Bradley Wiggins Foundation Series Race 1. These are a series of crits around the Salt Ayre circuit in Lancaster, sponsored by the Bradley Wiggins Foundation, so some good prize money! The race went well, feeling much better than the week before and despite trying to get into a few moves nothing stuck so it came down to a sprint. Pretty happy to get 3rd in the sprint, with Flora taking the win. Unfortunately after the race the illness I'd had the week before came back so I couldn't do the race I was planning to do the next day and had to stay off the bike till the Thursday.

When I finally got back on the bike it felt great and I was happy enough that I was recovered to head to Bradleys Wiggins round 2 on the Saturday. The race was a bit more savage this week with Katie Archibald down racing and constantly attacking, she was super strong and constantly on the front. With nothing sticking down to the last lap it looked like it was going to come down to a sprint but with half a lap to go Katie launched herself off the front, I was in the right place and managed to get onto her wheel, I dug deep to hold it and had a quick look back to see we had a gap! I sat behind Katie, hoping to come round her in the last 100 metres or so but it was not to be, as soon as I moved out the slipstream I was going nowhere and Katie managed to stay in front of me with her insane strength. So a second place, but pleased with how I was feeling.

The next day was my first road race of the season at the CDNW road race series, this is the first year CDNW has run womens races in its series and it certainly seems to have been successful with 31 women in the race. Driving the course before the I was happy to see it was pan flat, but strong winds were likely to affect the race. After rolling out from the race HQ the race was immediately into the left hand gutter with cross winds blowing. I tried to keep up the front of the bunch but didn't get involved in any of the many attacks pinging off the front in the first lap of the race. On the second lap I saw Katie get up the road and once she had a bit of a gap I tried to bridge across with 2 other riders, we made it across but unfortunately the bunch wasn't far behind us. Not much further up the road and another attack was away so I decided to follow it as well, again it was brought back and I was feeling fairly tired by this point! I decided to hide in the wheels for a bit and sat in for the next lap to recover. Coming into the last lap I was running a bit low on fuel so had to stuff some gels down me to get me round but in the end it came down to a sprint and I didn't position myself greatly which meant I got a bit caught between people and ended up having to freewheel at 150 metres to go which wasn't ideal but still managed to take 3rd, rounding out an all scottish podium with Katie winning again and Flora taking second!

And after all that racing I've gained a fair few ranking points and am currently sitting at the top of the 2nd category womens rankings! I'm headed to Mallorca for a week on Saturday which means I'll miss some races and probably slip down but its a nice place to be at the moment, and to make it better my sister is leading the Youth A girls rankings too!

So, the exciting news, well I've managed to get myself a ride for a dutch team at the 3 day Junior stage race at the Omloop Van Borsele in Holland in April. Needless to say I am very excited! I know it will be a BIG learning experience but I can't wait to go. The team I'm riding for is RWC Ahoy and I really hope I can be a useful part of the team. The website for the race is here, have a wee look if you want to find out more!

Also coming up in April I've got the 2 day womens tour of Perth at the start, its the first round of the British Womens Series, so it'll be a good indication of form. The course for the road race will make it fairly hard but I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing how I can get on.

Again thanks for reading, I'll be back with an update soon! Sorry for the lack of pictures (blame the parents!)