Despite health setbacks, notably the EILO, I still had a progressive and positive season with both good results and lots of learning experiences.
Youth Tour of Scotland
I was incredibly honored to be chosen to represent the South Region at the 2018 Youth Tour of Scotland, which took place early season in April. The Tour involved a hill stage, a team time trial, a road race and the final day was a criterium around the boarding school we were staying at. This was a huge learning experience, as it meant going away to race with a team without my parents or anyone to provide everything for me. Unfortunately, I had just come back from a week long cold before going away which meant I wasn’t in a strong form that was required to place highly results wise. However, I still had lots of fun being away and managed to complete every race.
This years southern region omiums took place in Portsmouth, Brighton, Bournemouth and Reading; each one with exciting and tactical racing. I really enjoyed track this year, as I found I was able to fully participate despite my EILO, and it helped me develop as a rider and a person. I managed to finish top of the south region leaderboard, enabling me to compete in the Youth Omnium Finals at Derby Velodrome. Whilst I didn’t manage to get any top results at the finals, I was able to make it through the entire day without a breathing problem and got some good experiences.
Youth School Games 2018
I was really happy to be chosen to represent the South Region at the 2018 UK School Games which this year combined Track and Road.
The first day was based at Derby Velodrome, which I felt confident to ride having already ridden it at the Youth Omnium Finals earlier on in the season. The day consisted of scratch races (qualifier and final), elimination races (again, qualifier and final) a team mechanical challenge and a team track standing competition. Whereas the team events didn’t go hugely well, individually I was able to perform well in both the scratch and elimination races, getting to the final of both. The elimination final I would hand on heart say was one of my best races this season, with a positive performance and result.
The next day was based on the campus of the University we were staying at which was a day of street sprinting. I didn’t do very well in the qualifier time trial, meaning I could only place so highly at the end of it all. However I was able to move up a band in each of my rounds ending the day with a positive.
The final day was a road stage of a 6 mile circuit with a huge hill to the finish line. I did not have as great a day here, really suffering in the climbs. However, I was happy to manage to complete the stage.
An extremely positive part of my Season this year was taking part in the Women’s Avid Races at Odd Down, Bath. Using my dispensation, I was able to compete in the women’s racing at my local circuit. These races allowed me to get a feel for what I’ll be doing in years to come, whilst getting some good longer efforts in. I made lots of good friends whilst racing with the ladies, and found I was able to compete with them. I used the races as stress free learning opportunities, to experiment with attacking and working in different groups. These races helped during my “recovery” from EILO, and gave me confidence for the now and the future.
I managed to do a few more time trails this year which were a good mental exercise alongside training. Each time trail I knocked time off my previous PB which was good as it showed physical positive progress. I enjoyed it just being me against the clock, as it meant I could just do my thing and just focus on the process. The last timetrail of the series I got a first place in women’s category, which I was very pleased with. I won a rather cool red hoody and a bottle of wine… naturally that went to Mum and Dad 🙂
VC Walcot Hill Climb
The VC Walcot was a fabulous way to end the season, and helped me prepare for winter training through learning how to absolutely empty myself. I was able to trust and push towards a target wattage on the day, leading me to a victory of first place in the under 16s. It was a lovely end to the year and I look forward to doing it again next year.