On Sunday I traveled to Newport to ride in the first of the Icebreaker series at the Velodrome.
At the start I was feeling quite nervous, I think from the fact that I hadn’t ridden an Icebreaker before, even though I knew that it would be a bit like a track league or Youth Omnium.
Laura had already raced before my event got underway and she had done well, so that made me feel better, and once I was on the bike and warming up I started to feel more at ease and ready for the racing.
First up was the scratch race. I was a strong field of 24 riders it was fast, but I settled into it and was riding well and starting to feel comfortable. Unfortunately half way through the race another rider came down on me hitting in to my bars and front wheel, almost causing a crash. I managed to keep the bike upright and keep going, but my confidence and composure had taken a bit of a knock which effected the rest of my race. By the end of the Scratch I was too far back, as I had expected it to go off earlier, so I finished just outside of the top 12. This was disappointing, but my main issue was getting my focus back for the next event.
Next up was the Points race and I knew what I needed to do to get to the final, as after missing out on the scratch final, I didn’t want to miss out again. I let the first sprint go, the idea being that the riders who scored in the first sprint would be the strong sprint riders, and then as it was only a heat they wouldn’t go for others. I then tried to put myself near the front and ride an attacking race, trying to get in the breaks to get some points. After missing out on the next two sprints in terms of points – being 6th and 5th in the sprints respectively, I tried to position myself well for the final sprint, in order to place as highly as possibly. I ended up 5th on the line, which unfortunately wasn’t quite enough to get to the final, a shame as I gave it my all, but made a few tactical mistakes that didn’t help me.
The final event of the meet was the Elimination, and this is usually a race I enjoy, but I got it badly wrong, finding myself last out of the pen and on to the boards, and so at the back at the start of the race. I had to sprint to catch on and I managed to do enough to survive the first elimination, but feeling tired my observation wasn’t good enough, and whilst I thought that I was safe I wasn’t, with another rider sprinting over the top. As a result I came out very early, and was extremely disappointed in myself. I should have made a bigger effort early on to get to the front end of the race, and then I would have been in for much longer – but it had been a big learning experience and that is as important as anything at this stage.
By the end of the racing I was feeling tired both physically and mentally, I was disappointed at how the day had gone in terms of results, but was also aware that it gave me some important lessons and how to deal with problems whilst on the track.
I am now looking forward to my next Icebreaker, when I will have the chance to put the lessons that I learnt today into practice and that should improve the results and give me a more positive outcome.
Big thanks to my coach, Peter Georgi of Epic Coaching, for his support on the day, especially given I was feeling a bit out of sorts.