In preride the day before my legs didn't feel great, they felt very heavy and not "pinging" as I was hoping they would be. When the legs feel that way it either means you've had too much rest and your legs need waking up or you've done too much training and you're just tired. Seen as theres nothing can be done about being tired the day before the race I just had to hope the legs would wake up after a bit of hard riding and some sprints.
So to race morning, I'd done all I could do, all that was left was to ride my hardest. After a bit of a strange roll out and long neutralised section we were racing and pretty much immediately into the first hill, I followed the other juniors and managed to hold position all the way up, not without a bit of suffering though. Riding to the next hill I just felt terrible, literally my whole body just felt tired and weak, I knew it wasn't my day but I still tired my best to hang on up the next hill. This one was steeper and I got distanced, I managed to chase back on on the descent but lost the wheels again up the next hill. After this one I benefited from the chasing of Matrix Fitness as they tried to pace Mel Lowther back to the bunch, again we made it back but only just before the next climb. This climb was one too many, the gap was too big and although I could see the bunch for quite a while I just didn't have the power to get across. This left me in a small bunch behind with 3 other juniors, knowing that the front bunch was pretty much out of reach I concentrated on getting the best position I could from the bunch I was in. This meant I attacked over the top of the last climb on the last lap, on the flat I put the power down, managing to open up a gap with 2 other senior women. I was happy to do a lot of the work to keep away from the bunch behind which we managed to do for me to take 4th Junior.
|Yup that hurt.|
It has to be one of the hardest races I've done and I know I gave it my best shot, but equally I know my legs were nothing like at their best. This was confirmed the next morning when I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a train, my body was a bit of a wreck so I think that confirms the reason my legs were feeling rubbish was because they were tired. But looking ahead a few days off and I'll be recovered and we now know my limits and what kind of taper doesn't work for me in the lead up to a big race. I've now got the Stafford GP to look forward to next Friday and then the British Junior Track Champs from the 14th - 17th August, but currently I'm enjoying a few days off and eating what I want for once! Thanks again to Huw Williams for the photos.