So after reading that I think it was safe to say I was a little nervous about the race. Hills aren't usually my strongest point so I was just hoping to make it to the bottom of the climb with the main bunch. The climb came in the last 12km of the 87km race which was already on fairly rolling roads to that point.
I had planned to pre ride a bit of the course the day before but I missed the dry part of the day and, call me soft, but the torrential rain didn't seem too clever to go out in, so a pre race ride on the rollers to get the travel out my legs sufficed. I did however have a drive round the course, including the hill, which just seemed to rise up like a wall, yup it was gonna live up to expectations for sure!
So finally race day was here and it was really warm! Unusual for the north of Scotland but not unwelcome at all. I got a good warm up done on the rollers before assembling with all the other women behind the pipe band and Youth D racers on the circuit in the Grampian Transport Museum. What followed was a rather entertaining ride around the circuit as we all followed the pipe band round at walking pace trying not to fall off our bikes! I think it added to the event however and I think it was good for all the youngsters to see what they should be aspiring to in a few years time.
After that we headed out onto the road for a short neutralised section before we were racing. We had one long circuit before we were onto the shorter circuit with the climb on it. The racing on the big circuit was on the whole a bit uneventful, there were some slopes on the far side which the Breast Cancer Care team tried to get away on, pinging one rider after another away off the front, but nothing was sticking. After that it was mainly rolling and downhill for quite a while and the bunch just rolled along, slowly. Infact so slowly that the men, who had started half an hour behind us, caught us up and we had to stop to let them past. After that we had a bit of a climb before we hit the road leading up to the Suie, up here Jen Taylor attacked and the bunch was strung out with riders trying to pull her back, I was really struggling at this point. I had been feeling so nervous and sick before the race I don't think I had eaten enough, and it was telling on my legs, but I took a gel and that got me home. There was nearly a group of 6 of us got away up one of the hills on the road up to the Suie but it didn't stick and again the bunch just rolled along. I think everyone just knew how hard the last hill was going to be so wanted to save something effectively.
|The bunch rolling along.|
|The Suie in the car on the Saturday, this photo|
doesn't really show how steep it was!
Finishing in 7th meant I took the Junior Womens Title, and it was really nice to get presented with a jersey and medal with the other winners and receive a prize, because I feel sometimes people forget that junior women are having to compete with elite women from the moment they move out of youth categories and rarely is a junior prize awarded, so I would really like to thank the organiser for leading the way in that respect and putting on a great race. Also big congrats to Jen Taylor for taking the win in what I hear was a very close sprint with Julie Erskine. Thanks very much to Fiona Duncan for getting me up the last bit of the climb and working hard to get back on the group in front.
|Medal Winners, me on the left with the jersey for Junior Womens Champion|
Thanks for reading, next up I've got about 3 weeks of solid crit racing, which should be fun! Going to be racing some big names so will hopefully get my name up on the results sheet alongside theirs.