Icebreakers 1

Last Saturday I competed in the Icebreaker track racing at Newport Velodrome.
warmupI was really nervous before racing and didn’t feel confident in myself, I felt like I was among many better and more exprienced cyclists in what was a national field of 18 riders.
Dad and Morgan gave me encouragement, and then as soon as I started the warm up  and went into the pen with all the other riders I relaxed. Dad had told me “You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t ready.”

As soon as I got on the track, ready to start the scratch race I became who I normally am. I felt part of the bike as I raced around. It was much faster and more aggressive that the u12 racing I had been used to, but I worked hard and managed to grab a 9th place on the line, finishing with the lead bunch.
The points race wasn’t as smooth though. I clashed pedals and bars with another girl, and almost got pushed into another rider. Despite this I still managed to get a point and I came off in one piece (yay!). It had been very sketchy, and at the end of the race we were called together for a chat with the commissaires who wanted to remind the bunch about good racing practices for our safety.

scratch raceThe elimination race was what really made my day, and was my best race in my opinion. I felt stronger than ever and my performance showed this! I played it well always making sure someone was behind or boxed in at the end of each elimination lap, and I survived to the final 7 which I didn’t expect at all! I only went out because I found myself boxed in with a few riderst in front and another girl managed to come from behind and get over the top.

In conclusion, it was great fun and its taught me to believe in myself and start to realise I do belong amongst the under 14s. It also made me aware how big a step it is from under 12s to under 14s. The sprints are harder, and the group rides as a bunch rather than spread out around the track.

I am happy with my result of 9th overall and am looking forward to further track racing at this level.

Sulis Scorpions Series – round 1

With winter training still ongoing, it was nice to get out and have my first circuit race of the 2016 season, and my first as an u14. The race was at the Odd Down circuit in Bath, a circuit I know well from my time with Sulis Scorpions over the last two years. I was quite excited but at the same time really nervous about how it would pan out.

It was lovely to see lots of Scoprions friends at the circuit, and once signed on I made sure to have a good warm, getting my body ready to race.

waiting to startI positioned myself on the front line at the start so that I could get away as quickly as possible. When the race started another rider zoomed off so I sprinted on to his wheel and soon enough a ‘front pack’ had formed. I decided to make a long attack to string the group out more, and to drop a few riders, this was successful and with a manageable group we settled down into a good pace.

The race featured a sprint lap, when it came a Poole Wheelers boy went of the front with me behind. I followed him across the line, and our upping of the pace had created a large gap from the front of the chasing pack, one other rider came with us and was happy to share the work. During the next few laps another rider (Of my team – BCDS) joined us. We worked well and kept the break from the main group.

Laura&Joe BCDSThe the final lap came and I decided to have a go at winning overall, knowing I would already be 1st girl. Unfortunately a boy cut me up on the second to last hairpin corner, and  after a quick trip onto the grass which meant I lost my momentum – the advantage went to the Poole Wheelers rider and he went past.

It ended the Poole Wheelers rider 1st, Me just behind in 2nd place overall, and the other BCDS rider, Joe, in 3rd.

I was 1st U14 girl which was the main thing, although it would have been nice to have had a race for the line and not get blocked off – but that’s racing.

I had a good warm down, and then a yummy hot chocolate. I was then delighted to be presented a winners medal for round 1.

Thanks to Sulis Scorpions for hosting the race, and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon…

New Kit Day at the BCDS SQT

laura-sqtToday was a long day, I was meant to wake at 5am to get ready and down to Newport Velodrome for 7:30am, but my alarm went off an hour early… Oooops!

First up was the SQT session with Dan and another coach. It was a good session with exercises in taking a lap, points racing, Russian steps and Trains and Stations – something I have done lots at the Saturday sessions.

Once we had finished on the track we got have a go on the WattBikes, it was interesting but hard work – especially as I was feeling tired from the track session.

All the Academy riders then got together to run through thoughts for the season, and to look at kit. I picked out some bib shorts and a race jersey, and I will order a skinsuit soon. I like my new kit, and I am looking forward to racing in it next weekend in the first race of the season at Odd Down.

After a long day it was good to get home, eat a good dinner and relax.


Strength and Conditioning

All a bit new to me really, but I am now incorporating some strength and conditioning training in to my weekly schedule.

I do this with my brother, and it is good fun. We do lots of core exercises, squats, planking and balance for stability.

I had some dumbbell weights for Christmas to use in the squats and lunges, I don’t use much weight on them, but it is good to get used to using the equipment safely.

My favourite exercises are the push ups and lunges!

Club Clusters – Night Riding at Castle Combe

Every Wednesday night I attend the Club Cluster training session held at Castle Combe. This is training at night, with lights on the bike, and it has really helped my strength and endurance to develop.

The sessions are run by Peter Georgi, Morgan’s coach at Epic Coaching, and he is really helpful but makes us work hard.

When I first attended I was quite nervous not knowing what to expect, and with it being in the dark, but now I really look forward to getting out there on a Wednesday and building for the season to come.

This week it was very cold and wet, I was pleased to get back to the van after and change into dry clothes, and we had some hot food when we got home. 🙂