Well the outcome of this weekend was a surprise for me!
Before the event, the rider list came through via email with the program attached. I was looking through it and all these riders names were popping up like Laura Trott, Katie Archibold, Dani King and many more… Practically olympic and world champions! GREAT. But this made me more optimistic for the event… As they are NEVER impossible to beat!
The day came for the 2 days of intense racing to start. The first stage on day 1 was the prologue, which ranked us for the crit race and the start of GC contention. I was one of he first off! Least i got it out the way… I managed to get 42nd for the first stage, bearing in mind I’m not the best of riders to go balls out in a TT and get stuck in. Just don’t know how some people can do it?! but still, i was happy with my positioning as i didn’t come last and it was a decent start position to start with, against a world class field of riders.
Couple of hours passed which meant it was time for stage 2, the criterium! This was 45minutes plus 5 laps of Preston’s UCLAN Sports Arena course. to be honest, i think it is a really class course. As you can really carry some speed round some bends, getting tight in-between the bunch. Its brilliant! The start of the crit race didn’t go off as fast as i thought it would, personally I’m quite glad it didn’t as i started second row from the back. However, it was still a nippy pace! The first two laps of starting, this was time for me to move up in the bunch and stay covered, out of the wind keeping a good top 15 position. Moving up all the time, if i stayed in one place i would be at the back again… Don’t want that! this race surprised me that it wasn’t as fast as i expected, i thought it would be like London Nocturne and strung out most of the race. but it wasn’t… It was a nice tempo! Couple of riders trying to get clear, but nothing was going. I just sat happily and comfortable in the middle of the bunch, keeping my powder dry for the bunch kick. The remaining laps were approaching quickly, with the bell lap ringing i wasn’t in the best position at the time. I was a bit far back! But i noticed Katie Archibold coming up the inside of me, so i jumped on her wheel to take me round to the finish. Thats what she just did… As Dani King was leading out Laura, Katie powered her way up the inside of the two wiggle girls, pushing them wide. Laura, jumping on Katies wheel and I on Lauras… Sprinting up to the line, i couldn’t believe what i could see in front of me! Just them two, then me in 3rd… However, Grace Garner just pipped me on the line, as always allowing her to get 3rd and me 4th. What an awesome sprint it was! God smacked, with the riders i beat and how well i actually did a sprint… WOW!!
Still hyped up from the day before, it was the 81km road race. All morning it had been drizzling hard, miserable weather. Me, hoping the sun will come out for another glorious day! But it didn’t… Which meant the race started off in the dingy drizzle, neutralised up to the start line and then BANG, the flag was waved and the race started. Jesus Christ, the pace we started at was crazy! Felt like you were at a Crit race, not a road race. They stormed it off the front. I really couldn’t hack the speed! However, 2nd lap or so in i managed a puncture, so meant for me race over. Eventually, i pulled out which meant i got a DNF for this race.
I was dam happy with my performance from the day before!
What a weekend with a world class field! not every day you race with your heroes…
Check out some photos and the report on British Cycling…