Thursday, 24 September 2009

Racing Bikes

Me.
Hmmm. I've been doing quite a bit of racing lately. It's been pretty awesome.

It all began with a trip down to the Darley Moore racing circuit, near Derby somewhere far South. One of the Women's National Team Series. I hadn't done any road racing for ages, so was a bit nervous about getting dropped on the first lap, but no such thing occured, the race went pretty well and I really enjoyed it.

Next up was the Cumberland Challenge Cyclosportif, 110 Pennine miles, which are at least four times as long as normal miles. I actually really enjoyed it, and didn't find the distance too bad (apart from one point where I was asking passers by 'seriously though guys, where the hell is the god damn food stop? Tell me now!), which was surprising. I rode most of it on my own, but got a good pull for a while at the end of the first loop (the course is like a figure of eight) which was really good fun, riding in a fast bunch of men, it felt like a road race, and zooming past loads of other people. I ended up 4th woman which was pretty cool, considering I didn't have a personal domestique.

Then I went for a trip across the water to Ireland, to ride the Women's Ras na mBan, an International Stage race, four stages over three days, I loved it! Three of the stages were road races, and one a (downhill, two mile long) time trial, which wasn't really playing to my strengths. The first road race went really well, it went over a Category 1 climb, Molls Gap, I was with the leading group until just before the top, then rode with a smaller group to the finish, beating all but two of them in the sprint for the line, which was pretty awesome, as a lot of them were Dutch, and Dutch girls don't tend to get beaten in sprints all that often.

The second day was a really hard four laps of a tough little circuit with a really horrible gravel road with grass down the middle. There was a big crash on the second lap as everyone went hareing around the corner to try and get onto the gravel section first, I missed it but the bunch was split from there and never got back together. My legs gave up about 2 metres from the top of the climb on the last lap, however the Chief Commissaire said the day was the best example of women's racing he had every watched, as every place was so well contested.

The time trial was...over within about three minutes.

The last day was pretty epic, they sent us out over a Category 1 climb, around a loop and then back over the same climb, which I thought was pretty cool. The weather was glorious and the racing not that fast, everyone seemed pretty content to sit in and enjoy the sunshine.

Last weekend I made another long journey down to do the Coalville Wheelers Women's National Team Series event, it was six laps of a nine mile circuit, with a couple of sharp climbs. The race went well, I was in the leading group for four out of the six laps, and then rode with various other girls, winning my bunch sprint.

Oh, I also did an Open 10 mile Time Trial, in which I beat my pb by about 2 minutes, which wasn't too shabby.

Now Cyclocross is on the horizon, as well as a little spin around the Tour de Trossachs Time Trial, which should be fun. I'm also looking at doing the National Hill Climb Champs and the University Hill Climb Champs. Looking forward to wearing my shiny new VC Moulin kit.

2 comments:

andytrailfettler said...

that's a whole lot of racing! good work.

The Cumberland Sportif sounds like a tough 'un. Know that feeling of 'just needing food now' well - remember buying then eating as much food as I could carry from a food store in Mallorca after getting the hunger knock!

chrisD said...

That's a lot of racing bikes. Nice work.
Tour De Trossachs field looks pretty competitive,go rip it up and welcome to the team.