On Sunday 3rd April, it was off to Enstone and Zappi’s Crit number 5. A number of teammates were also racing, and as a team we were going to try and make plenty of attacks in the race. We got there early, as my sister Laura was racing before me, giving me plenty of time to get ready, into kit and warmed up. A couple of recon laps as a pack and we were ready to race.
I got an ok start, some riders “jumped the gun” and once clipped in I got to the middle of the pack. This remained for the lap, and then a lap later when pace was added, I had to make my way up the pack. Once there I sat myself in towards the front.
A teammate attacked as planned, and then once he was back, I prepared myself to launch the next attack.
When I went I opened up a gap, and then kept pushing even though the pack were close, it strung out and gaps started to open. The strongest riders got to me half a lap later, but they all sat up. I looked back and saw gaps, so I decided to kick on again. No one followed straight away, and I opened up a large gap, and I kept pushing.
I got into TT mode, and kept going, and the distance back to the chasing bunch grew.
A few laps later I became aware of a rider who was bridging across. Once he had made it we worked together, and I quickly realised that we were likely to stay away. The gap grew out which I was glad about because I was starting to run out of energy. Even when Nathan launched off the front of the pack he wasn’t making any inroads to us.
With the lap board indicating the countdown from five laps I was delighted, as I was really starting to feel the effort, as the race had been full gas from the off and I had been out front for the majority of the race. It was during this lap or one later that through the chicane I lost the wheel of the rider I was working with, and was too tired to chase back on.
I then had to keep going, and it was more a mental thing, I told myself that I had to keep pushing for 4 laps, after all I had been able to push for the previous 30 minutes! This got me through the laps, and I kept doing the countdown, which helped me. I knew in the final lap that I would be second, and it was extremely pleasing. I kept pushing until near the line, where it was nice to finish not in a sprint and secure with my placing.
At the end I was really happy with my race, and where I had come. I had given it a a couple of attacks and been able to get away for the break, and was able to keep pushing through the pain. My tactic had worked this time, and I had got a good result. I know it is a case of varying tactics in future races, but you never know, next time it may be a win.
After a cool down, it was time for food, in particular Dad’s birthday cake, although I’m not sure of its nutritional value for recovery!