After Otley I had a day off as we were travelling south to the Travel Lodge at Gatwick Airport which was my new home for the next week and a bit, then on Saturday we head north to Oakley for the Womens Team Series where I would be guesting for Team ASL360 again. It was a boiling hot day and it only got hotter throughout the race, the race was 6 laps of a very flat course, with primes at the end of laps 2 and 4. There was plenty of attacks but the nature of the course didn't make it very easy to get away, I tried myself after the first prime lap but got nowhere so decided it was better to bide my time in the bunch. When we came round for the second prime I made sure to stay up in a good position and as 4 women came round the side of the bunch I managed to accelerate onto their wheels and come round them at just the right time to take the prime, I was pretty surprised at that seen as I don't consider myself that good a sprinter! So it all came down to the final sprint after a tense last 2 laps where I was more concerned about staying on my bike than anything else at there was at least 2 crashes. At the end my team mate Dani attacked with about 1km to go and was looking really strong just in front of the bunch. At this point I was on the wheel of Hannah Barnes, perfectly positioned, or so I thought, however due to Dani being out front Hannah decided to start her sprint very early. I couldn't quite hold her wheel in the initial acceleration leaving me between the front 2 and the bunch just burying myself to get to the line, 2 girls from Matrix Fitness came past me but I managed to stay ahead of the rest of the bunch for 5th. I also picked up the prize for first junior which I was pretty happy with!
Straight after the race we were off to Birmingham for the Dudley track meet the next day. Having not raced the track in a good 2 months I was severely struggling to find my track legs. The fact that the first event in the omnium was a 400m TT didn't really help either, not something I'm very good at! So first event wasn't the best, then in the points race I got 3 points to finish 6th, in the sprint I wasn't last (happy with that!), pursuit I was 6th again. Then came the final event, the scratch, 20 laps to leave it all on the track and finish the day on a high. So I attacked and attacked till I got away, then I just put my head down. Seeing I still had 11 laps to go I knew this was not going to be the most fun! But the bunch had sat up and soon I had half a lap, then a bit more, every time the bunch swung up the track I got a bit closer and eventually managed to lap them. I then just sat in the bunch to take the win, very nice way to end the day!
|On the cobbles at Guildford|
|Start line at Guildford|
|On the climb at Essex|
After this the road home was in sight, just 2 more nights at Gatwick Airport then I would move to Stansted Airport for the Essex Giro at the weekend. This started with an 11km TT which was on a rolling course, I struggled to find my rhythm for the first half but got into it and managed to catch the girl in front of me and take 9th place. Next up was a kermesse over 8 laps of a tough course with a hill on a single track road. I did my best to be at the front of the bunch for the start of the climb every lap and found I was climbing quite well. There was some breaks away but everything got brought back on the fast descent. It all came down to the last lap up the hill, I didn't quite have the legs to go for the win but I managed to stick with the front group which I was happy with. The next day was a long road race, the longest I've ever done at 128km. Luckily it was on a slightly flatter course so the race went quickly. An unfortunate crash meant the race had to be stopped for 40 minutes as ambulances were brought in, I think everyone involved was ok though. After this the race was shortened by a lap to 110km, there was a break away in the early part of the race but was brought back and the race was all together for the final lap. I managed to maintain a good position but was just on the wrong side for the final corner so couldn't find a way out and finished 6th. This left me in 9th overall which I was happy with.
Next up I've got the British Crit Champs this Sunday before the British Junior Road Race Champs the week after, will keep this updated with how I get on!
|Ahead at Woking|
|On the attack at Woking|
|Podium for most combative rider at Woking|
|Aylsham in the pouring rain|
|Time Trial at Surf n Turf|
|Time Trial at Surf n Turf|
|Attacking in the crit at Surf n Turf|
|In a break at Surf n Turf|
|Off the start line at Otley|
|Front of the race at Otley|
|Front of the group at Surf n Turf|