Monday, 12 August 2013

Stafford GP

The last round of the British Women's Series was held in Stafford last Friday. Me and my mum headed south to Preston on Thursday before going the rest of the way to Stafford on Friday. I had seen the course map and it looked very technical with lots of corners and barely any straights. Once I got onto the course for preride it was as technical as it had looked, with one really tight corner just after the finish where you just about had to come to a standstill and another one where the course narrowed to about 2 people wide. This suited me perfectly, I always like to attack round the corners so was really looking forward to the race.
Going round one of the tightest corners on the circuit
As the race was part of the national series the gridding was done on the series standings to that point. I was lying in 7th, but with none of 3rd - 6th being there and me being in striking distance of 5th on points there was a good opportunity for me to move up the overall standings. Soon we were off and with the tightest corner on the course coming first I decided to push on to get into it first, which I did. I then decided to just go for it and pushed on for a lap to see if I could split the race up a bit. I didn't manage to get away but I broke the group up a bit. After that the group gradually got narrowed down to 12 as the Matrix Fitness team continually attacked, with one rider after another going off the front. I followed a few of these attacks but most of them were chased down but national crit champion Hannah Barnes. There were 2 sprint laps in the race I managed to take 3rd in both of them and these gave me an indication of how important the final corner was going to be, in both of the sprints I came out the final corner in 3rd place and there really wasn't enough road to get past anyone in front of you. So effectively positioning was essential. Going into the last 4 laps the attacking had ceased as Matrix Fitness set up a lead out train on the front of the bunch. I had a plan to go on just about the only long straight bit on the course before about 6 tight corners to the finish and hope to hold everyone off through them. On that bit however Hannah Barnes, whose wheel I was on, decided to go so I followed but didn't quite get past everyone. On the next, shorter straight I got past a few more people before taking a corner nice and fast to bring myself up to second placed Jessie Walker's wheel, I then managed to move in front her so it was only Hannah Barnes in front of me. I got up to her wheel in the final few corners but as soon as we hit the finish straight she was away, just no chance of even getting near her! But I was still very happy to take second, my best result at a national series all season. And that did indeed moved me up to 5th in the series, making 4 Scots in the top 5!

Leading off the start line
Podium with Hannah Barnes in 1st and Jessie Walker 3rd
Next up for me is the British Junior Track champs at Manchester this week where I'll be racing the points, scratch and pursuit.