So this was it. The race that always seems to signal the start of the race season; The Easter classic.
From all the training I had done in the dark up at Castle Combe I was fairly confident, but of course I was still a bit nervous; as expected!
I made sure to warm up properly, and it was nice to be with able to do so alongside some of my team mates, with Dan the team coach there to give advice.
Soon I was on the start line in amongst a field of about 50 riders, all ready to race. The Commissaire gave the briefing, and before I could think of anything else a sharp whistle sounded and the race had started!
The start was similar to an under 12s race, everyone trying to sprint away. I made a good strong start though and had no problem in keeping in the peloton as it formed. I knew my aim was to be on wheels of the riders i knew would be quick, and so I set away doing that.
Unlike most of my races the pack didn’t settle until the last lap, it was a constant sprint kind of thing as attacks launched and the peloton countered. I kept near the front so that I wouldn’t get caught up in it and dropped. Soon enough the last bell went and we were hammering down the hill. I was sat on my team mates wheel who was trying to catch a break.
As we rounded the final bend in to the home straight there was a sharp scream and a big crash happened right next to me! It occurred due it it being the final sprint for the line and riders trying to get space for the sprint.
Luckily I didn’t get caught up in it, and as i composed myself everyone started sprinting for the line, so I went with the flow and put every ounce of energy I had left in to the last 300 meters.
My sprint was good, and despite distraction of the crash, it gave me a 5th place in the girls – and once more a smiling face!
I think the winter training and the learning at the Zappi paid off today as I felt well prepared.
I’ll keep learning though, and hopefully it has me set for a good season.
Tomorrow we head to Newport in the early hours where I will be competing in the IceBreaker at the Velodrome, more on that to follow 🙂