Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Just a little brief on the Belgium cross – I can officially confirm when everyone tells you its cold they are bloody right I was not expecting the amount of ice and snow I found. The first race was in Diegem a nice little town near Brussels, I pre rode the course the day before and felt pretty happy with everything. Washed the bike off and chilled to race day, however the first race morning was a little stressful as I found leaving your bike in the van is not a wise idea, one of my bikes was completely frozen. I now realise why everyone was air drying their bikes with such precision out there. However it was too late to do much about it so I one biked it on the first race, which wasn’t too bad really as most of the course was frozen anyway, there were some muddy patches that I ran instead of rode just to keep the bike working. Plus my running isn’t too bad so I don’t think it massively altered my positioning. I came 35th which I think was a reasonable position considering I was gridded toward the back and it was my first ever world class race. 

There were areas I knew I could improve on but this was really what I was here for the experience top races, and practice on obstacles we don’t always get in the UK. Ramps, ditches, sand off camberdescents etc.

The second race was Azencross Loenhout, this was super icy and snowy and pretty intimidating due to the weather conditions but really it was more suited to me there was plenty of running, lots of jumps and a nice fast road sections. I was slightly less nervous as I now understood the set up of Belgium races. So much less stressful no worries regarding pit equipment it is all there for you, people were there willing to help pit for you and generally treated you like royalty. I had a really good race, first half, then I made a few little mistakes, dropped a chain and slipped on some steps but still really got into the race and loved it. I would highly recommend the ladies to go out there and give it ago. I have so much to learn still within cross and thanks to MBG I have had a life time experience I will not forget.

Along side me I had a junior girl that does my local cross league Sarah Lomas that also put in 3 cracking performances. Give her a follow on twitter.

This weekend at Derby I rode a strong race and ended up finishing the National series in 5th position…consistency throughout the series assure me of this position and it has taught me a lot and given me great focus for next CX season…bring it on.

I have the National Champs next weekend then I will be turning my hand back into my triathlon training. Thanks to all the sponsors and my wonderful teamies and pit man GaryMcCaffery

Di Lee 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Into the Cross season

It's now well into the season, and nearly all the MBG’s have been doing a bit of Cyclocross with V and Lou doing the London Leagues and Emily, Phoebe and myself doing the National Series and our local league races. So far things are going really well, with the super support form MBG-Sigma Sport I was able to target the National series as my main events this year.
I am currently lying 5th overall in the series with 3 rounds left to go.  Last weekend was the inter championship at Hardwick hall seriously muddy but a great course for me. I had a really strong race holding 3rd place until I had a major mechanical that left me running a good chunk of the course. I managed to hold onto 5th place. I haven’t raced in quite so many of my local races due to the Nationals but the participants in the women’s field at Notts and Derby is continually growing, which is great to see.
Over the Xmas period I am going to do some international events in Belgium to gain some more experience and try to improve my technical skills before the Nationals Championship. I think the thing I enjoy most about cross is that every race is so different with such differing condition it makes it such an exciting sport.
I am really looking forward to the Milton Keynes Nationals as I’m sure the atmosphere will be buzzing after the World Cup. Once cross finishes I’m straight into the tri season with my first race being in Portugal - my training will change significantly, changes by increasing my mileage and regaining my running and swimming fitness.
I am excited about a busy few months ahead.

Di xxx

Monday, 25 August 2014

Euro Trip Challenge: Week One: The Plan, The Views, The Crash

I am writing this from a Cafe in Chamonix. it’s the start of my second week into my Euro Trip Challenge and many things have happened and plans have changed on a daily basis.

The initial plan was to live out of my havebike van,  touring the mountains in Europe and undertaking 4 mountain bike races in 4 weeks. I was given the opportunity to make it into a video diary for The Cycle Show and thus, the concept became a reality.

As with most things I do there was no plan, even less of a plan than even I was comfortable with. I left my house on Saturday morning with the van packed and still no clue as to where I was heading!

First though, I decided to sneak a race in in Brighton, the famous Brighton Big Dog. All my teamies the MuleBar Girls-Sigma Sport were racing and I got an on-the-day entry to do a Onederdog lap, which is a one-lap race that you can start whenever you want. It’s more of a fun category but I was grateful simply to get a ride!

It was an awesome day out, the girls were on form and loving it and totally dominated the podiums, I was so proud to be wearing my team kit and part of the day with them! I still don’t know the time I got but I tried really, really, really hard to the extent that I could taste blood and my lungs were on fire! It felt so good to be back putting that sort of effort into riding, I am not fit enough to be going particularly fast even when I try that hard but there is nothing like a race to force you to push your body to it’s limits and I loved the feeling….

At night time of course I was peer pressured into staying and partying and was offered a floor to sleep on at race organisers Rory and Sabrine’s house.

On Sunday I took myself to a cafe to book a ferry and have a look at the footage and audio I got from the race. It’s quite a big deal to me to be trying to self-film and record, it’s fiddly, takes organisation and commitment throughout the day and with the support of Rebecca and V I felt like I was happy with what I had got.

I booked a ferry for that evening, got stuck in traffic on the M20 and made it on with 5 minutes to spare. I was just thinking “Is this seriously what my whole trip is gonna be like?!” because, to be honest, that’s what my whole life tends to be like…

On the ferry I set about filing the footage I had got from the race...only to discover it had disappeared!!! I was devastated, my Go-Pro was refusing to work too. I drove a few hours south from the ferry and set up camp in a lay by and as the rain pelted my tent I really felt a lonely feeling of “what the hell am I doing?!”

The next morning I made my way down to Chamonix, unable to use sat nav in the van because the lighter plug doesn’t work I had to get on wifi in service stations and memorise the motorways and big town names to head for. Eventually I arrived and hooked up with Nina, a girl I had met at my first and only proper race this year. I had contacted her on Saturday to ask if she wanted to ride with me….and it’s still the best decision I have made this trip!!

I was made super welcome in her boyfriends little flat, where they pulled out a bed for me and took me in as if we’d known each other forever. Together we talked about my plan and it started to come together. I knew I had to get to Eurobike in Germany at one point and I contacted a few race organisers that I had come across thanks to a facebook shout-out and as I waited for the replies we could then just concentrate on some local riding.

Riding. That’s what I came out for after all.

I got my Go-Pro fixed at Epic TV in Chamonix and took a ski lift up Brevent with Nina and Spencer to check out the riding on their door step.

From here, it’s really best to look at the pictures on facebook as the words can’t describe the variety and enormity of the riding I have done in the last few days. Chamonix, Le Tour in Switzerland, Pila in Italy and Tignes/Val D’Isere in France. There have been times that my little London brain has felt fit to explode with the views and the magnitude of the mountains, to get to the top and then let loose ride, ride and skitter down the rocks and paths to the bottom is truly an incredible, incredible thing to do.

It has been taking me a while to get back into the flow after a long time off of my mountain bike in the UK, but each run I felt more confident and relaxed.

The thing that has really fucked my brain up is the cliff edges. Here it seems to be normal to find tracks away from the main Bike Parks and off the beaten track and no-one seems to bat an eyelid at the mountain drops along the side of the path, shrugging it off with a simple “yeah, you just can’t commit to riding at 100% when you are here as the consequence is too high”
But somehow riding at 90% seems totally fine!!!

After a few days in Chamonix and no positive response for a race for the first weekend, Nina decided to join me and show me around Val D’Isere and Tigne and it appears that I have picked up a little riding and travelling buddy for the next week or so. It’s AWESOME!!!

We had some good days riding, we started with a black run and then moved on to blues and reds. Bit of a backwards decision, but decision making does not seem to be the strong point of this trip!

At one point we came across a big ladder drop, about 2 metres high. Higher than any drop I have ever done before. After looking at it for a long time Nina decided to go for it, her analysis being that it looked fine from the top and she had done bigger drops before. I was unsure, but trusted her judgement and took to the camera to film her.

I was inspired and impressed that she went for it but without having seen someone do it ahead of us she hit it with too much speed and landed miles down the landing. She held on but the speed and rutted landing was too tricky to maintain and she hit the floor a second or two later with a big bruise developing immediately.

I was then even more unsure and after some more deliberating decided not to do it, we had the last ski lift to catch anyway. Which we made with less than 2 minutes to spare!

I went to bed that night feeling really annoyed with myself. I think I have a really strange brain and all I thought about that night was doing the drop. It was annoying me because I felt the only thing holding me back was will power, not ability. I was absolutely determined to do it.

So the next day we went to it first thing because it was far away and we needed to make sure we were able to ge the ski lift back, which meant i couldn’t practice on smaller ones first. I was feeling scared but steely determined. Thanks to her crash and general “meh” mood Nina wasn’t up for it again so I couldn’t just copy her (which is a favourite of mine when it comes to new things!)

On the run in my brain said something like this “No, yes, no….oh fuck, yes…”

And then everything slowed down, I heard Nina telling me it was perfect, but I knew it wasn’t, I was dropping the front end and I knew I was gonna crash.

The thing that saved me  (aside from my Lazer Helmet) I think was the fact that I am good at relaxing when I crash on an MTB, I rolled pretty far and hard, smashing my helmet and goggles on the way. I sat up and Nina got to me and I was pretty scared as I knew I’d hit my head pretty hard, I was shaking and I wanted to get to the bottom of the mountain straight away in case I started passing out and before the pain kicked in. Nina convinced me to stay still for a bit. I dunno, both choices have their pros and cons, if I had been more badly injured I didn’t want to be stuck in the woods with nobody around. As it was, I was OK, just really, really sore.

I managed the three hour drive back with some singing along to the radio to boot and now it’s time to go and have my bike checked over. I’m hoping it’s A. able to be sorted fast B. Not extortionately expensive.

The best thing of all? it was all caught on camera! Go check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1464416623831896&set=vb.1407513006188925&type=2&theater&notif_t=like

The next stage of my trip starts tomorrow as i head north with Nina to Switzerland and then Germany, with my next race booked in back in France this weekend. Fingers crossed the plan continues to (sort of) stay together…..

Monday, 21 July 2014

A Day in the Lakes .

Well after Texas 70.3 triathlon, I decided to race a little closer to home and enter an half iron distance race in the Lake District - a 1.9k swim 90k bike 20k run. This was the complete opposite end of the spectrum to Texas. The hilly, off road run and pretty god dam brutal. The swim started in Ullswater, a beautiful setting and a great opportunity for me to start the race well. I was the first lady out of the water and 2nd overall behind the lead male, I didn’t really get the lead I was hoping for with two ladies about 1mins behind me, but still a good solid start and on to the bike. It seemed to take me a while to settle into the bike, probably because I started out at the very front of the race and felt that loads of people were overtaking me, however I wasn’t really it was just the top end male riders that were trying to establish their positions in the field. Around 12miles into the ride we hit the first major climb Kirkstone Pass, here I settled into my zone catching a few men up the climb and getting into the feel of the race. The descents were fast and really enjoyable except for the odd sheep getting in the way. The bike route was on some fast country roads with spectacular scenery anyone riding over there I would definitely recommend the route for a general ride the route can be found on the website and map my ride http://www.trihard.co.uk/ADIL/ADIL%20cycle%20route.htm
I came off the ride with a 7minute lead on the other ladies, which really pleased me. Now it was to the run, it was a fell run with two fells reaching 1500m I knew it was going to be tough but I do enjoy off road running and decided maybe the steepness might help me. At the top everyone was walking / crawling I just kept telling myself to keep going I kept reminding myself I was fine at least it wasn’t the 3 peaks, I didn’t have to carry my bike. Keeping positive at 8mile I was still leading and carefully descending as fast as I could. However downhill running doesn’t come to me as naturally as others. People were catching me, the real fell runners were flying it was amazing to watch they literally fall in style, however I was struggling to keep pace. I was over taken by a lady that literally jumped over me, she was amazing and there is no other way of bigging this up, she just left me for dead. All I could do was push on hard and maintain 2nd place, which I did. I was pleased with 2nd and every credit to the winner Jenny Latham she put an exceptional run in.  I felt I raced a well-paced consistent race with no major problems. I loved wearing the new kit from Wildoo, I decided to wear my jersey on the bike over my blueseventy trisuit as it gets pretty chilly on the tops in the lakes, also my new lazer helmet was great for my support team to spot. The custom colours are great, especially with the Oakley Radars. So now I am going to take a little bit of recovery time then before we know it the cross season will be upon us.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

An update from Dr Sneds

I have been having a superb summer so far. Following on from the mule bar girls training camp I have been riding and training at home in the peak district. I'm not particularly that excited by road racing so I am more than happy to support the other girls whilst they slog themselves round various courses. I particularly enjoyed acting as DS at the Stoke Tour series. It gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling to see the girls gelling so well together as a team and suffering together (especially whilst I sip coffee and cheer from the safety of the roadside). This year I have had a bit of a break from the trials and tribulations of being a full time doctor and have been working part time in A&E. This has allowed me the flexibility to plan an adventure and catch up on the all the events and excitement I had missed out on the past two years when I was working nearly every weekend. This summer I wanted to do something different with my bike and I decided I would try touring. Charge bikes very kindly helped Chris and I get our touring bikes set up ( the super sturdy Plug 5). We looked at a map of the world and decided where we would like to go. We ended up choosing Vietnam and Cambodia. Without much of a clue about what cycle touring would involve - I packed my bikinis in to my panniers and boarded a plane to Ho Chi Minh city, South Vietnam. From there Chris and I pedalled our way across the Mekong delta exploring rural villages, waterways and floating markets.Surviving mainly on noodles in broth with floating mystery meat and mini bananas. Thankfully this part of Vietnam is pan flat we barely needed to change gear all day. It was dammed hot and it soon became to the norm to stop every hour or so for a cold drink and take in the scenery. On reaching the coast (following a few days of sunburn,mild heat stroke and dicing with death with the motos), we boarded a boat to Phu Quoc island and spent a few days relaxing on the beach. After a sunset proposal on the beach and celebrations we then returned to mainland engaged and headed across the border into Cambodia. I absolutely loved Cambodia the people are so friendly, the food is fantastic and the scenery spectacular. we spent a great deal of time learning about their fairly recent genocide and civil war, the country has a tragic pasr but now seems to be thriving. Following a week of risking our necks on various dusty dirt roads we made it to Angkor Wat home to the world's largest religious site (the temples where tomb raider was filmed). It was here in the town of Siem Reap we finished our trip enjoying endless happy hour cocktails and 30p beers with a number of gap year students who had finally "found themselves, got a tattoo (terrible) and discovered Buddhism" This was our final destination before flying home and it made an unforgettable end to our trip.

Aline Coaching  - they can coach the uncoachable
Arriving home it was back to work in A&E, like I had never left and back to getting some speed in the legs. This past 12 months I have suffered a couple of nasty crashes one on the road and one breaking my elbow in the 3 peaks. Following these my nerve on the bike off road seemed to be suffering. As many of you will know in mountain biking it is particularly hard to ride with your boyfriend who is far superior and who continues to shout totally unhelpful things like "let the brakes off" until you consider whether or not you have the physical strength to strangle them using a bike chain. I spent quite a few frustrated weeks contemplating what the problem was. When skiing I'm not scared and when I want to improve I have a lesson with an instructor - so why not have a session with someone whom I won't be tempted to murder. I was browsing twitter one day when a tweet came up stating places available for mtb skills in Sheffield - I looked into it, called them up and spoke to John of Aline coaching http://www.alinecoaching.co.uk/. John completely understood what I was talking about. I've had a couple of session with John who previously coached out in Whistler and helps out some of the top DH and enduro riders and it has worked wonders. John breaks things down, fixes the bad habits and constantly encourages (rather than criticise). I am so grateful for him helping me get my mojo back on the mountain bike. Hopefully Chris and I can now ride together without a hint of a murder or nuclear meltdown. I would urge any of you out there wanting to improve on the MTB but not quite sure how to do to check him out. You couldn't find a nicer more supportive chap.

Last Sunday I took part in the Eroica Britannia - this was a British version of the Italian Eroica on the Peak district's very own Strada Bianca or as we call it disused railway lines. The event is ridden on vintage bikes (pre1987) and in vintage kit. My dad has been building up to this event for the past 18 months and for it to take place on our very own home roads was the cherry on the cake. Thee vent could not have been better. This is the first year they have run it in the UK. The weather was glorious the free festival in Bakewell was a huge success and the ride - well I'm not sure I can put into words the joy of riding around the peak district on my vintage Mercian with 2000 other enthusiasts, the feed stops included free Pimms, beer and sparkling wine. I am already preparing myself for next year.

As we've passed the summer solstice my attention has turned to preparing for the cross season which always comes round faster than I expect and my bikes are usually still in bits. I have to go back to work full time in August so I'm trying to squeeze every last moment out of my spare time in June and July to ride my bike. Working in medicine makes you realise how short and cruel life can be and why it is paramount to enjoy as much of it as you can doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

PS for those people that keep asking - no I will not be riding the cyclocross 3 peaks this year - I promised myself if I crawled to the finish last year I would never make myself do it again. I'm sticking to that promise. However I will be there to cheer on the rest of the riders probably with my running trainers on instead.
For those of you excited by the prospect of a wet and muddy winter filled with cross racing check these teasers out http://vimeo.com/78835311

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

It's been a while...

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write a blog.  V will no doubt be cursing me in her sleep but I am finally sat in a comfy chair with a cup of tea ready to pen a little about the past couple of months.  It’s been a hectic one, with a lot of racing, a lot of driving, a lot of recovering and generally a lot of hanging about with the team eating a lot of MuleBars.

May and June were down to be the busiest months I think I have ever had on my bike.  It makes my brain ache to think that far back but the start of May saw the Bedford 3 Day, a gloriously sunny affair where a good TT and a well-timed breakaway placed me in 3rd on GC going in to the final stage.  Sadly a badly timed loss of concentration and even worse tactics lost me a few vital seconds on that very stage and I slipped back into 6th.  At every race you learn and with my head held bowed low I learnt a lot at that one.

For all that the sun was out for the first bank holiday, May’s second one returned to form and it was cold and rainy.  Torrential rain in fact, and we were camping.  In prep for the National Championships I trekked over to Wales for the Tour of Carmarthenshire.  A race that was hard last year stepped up a notch this time around; 70miles of climbs and undulating roads finishing at the top of the Black Mountain.  It was tough going but a fantastic race as always with teeth gritted on the 10km climb to the end. 

It was actually pretty refreshing to see Commissairres in this race committed to ensuring riders race safely by removing those who repeatedly broke the highway-code from the peleton.  Unfortunately, riding on the wrong side of the road is a familiar sight in women’s races which is not only dangerous but also unfair for those who keep to the rules of the road and are disadvantaged as a result.  

Although the annoyance for anyone who was asked to leave and return to HQ was clear the racing was safe and the problem quickly became self-policing.  It would be nice to see this happen elsewhere.  We are often told off for racing on the wrong side of the road but as there are never any consequences for those who do the problem persists.  I’m certain I’m not alone in my worry that one day it will not end well when a peleton extending across the width of the road goes round a blind bend.

Back to May and it was also the start of the eagerly anticipated Tour Series.  Last year I learnt to love crits and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in again.  I’d been training harder and focussing on the series so was keen to get racing.  That is until I woke up in the morning of the first round in Stoke with a sore throat.  My boyfriend had brought me home a nice little present from his training camp in Mallorca – a cold (and I bottle of wine I should add but he proceeded to drink that himself.  I didn’t get so much as a quaff of it!).  I felt pretty ropey so was super pleased to finish in 4th place, missing out on the podium in a sprint for the line from our chase group of 5.

By the next round in Peterborough I’d spend a couple of days on the sofa and a couple more persuading myself that I was well again and everything would be fine at the race.  A blocked up nose and not able to breathe you say?  Just a little sniff I say.  I limped home scraping into the top 20 after dangling off the back the whole race but still in 4th place overall.

Next up was Edinburgh (with the trip to Wales in a wet tent sandwiched in between) a road trip of epic proportions for a 40 minute crit race.  It was worth it though, the race was fantastic.  The course was brutal with a cobbled climb that went from a drag to a steep kick that seemed to go on forever and the crowds were brilliant.  Being in a group with Eileen Roe, Claire Thomas and Charlie Joiner; all Scots, meant they got the cheers but it amused me every time to hear constant shouts of ‘Come on Eileen’.  The party sounds of Dexy’s Midnight Runners whirled round in my head for days.  I placed 7th in the cobbled sprint from the chase group. 

Then over to Redditch.  I did not enjoy this race.  This is totally unlike me as usually I have something to smile about even if I’m not happy with the result.  We nearly had a car crash on the way there after a lorry’s load became lose and flew straight in our direction, only a quick reaction to avoid the huge metal plate looming down on us saved our bacon.  Then my wheel was broken so I had to use the spare except it had a 10-speed cassette on it, cue frantic changeover in the pits which resulted in me dropping it all.  Finally I fell off the rollers in the warm up.  It was a little damp and a chap asked me if I found it difficult in the wet to ride them.  To which I replied that it simply required a little care and attention and then promptly stacked it.  Suffice to say the race went no better than the build-up.

That weekend it was on to the London Nocturne, one of my favourite races in the calendar.  A twighlight crit in my home town with huge crowds and a fabulous atmosphere.  I was really looking forward to it not least because I had a number of demons to put to bed after Redditch.  I had a good starting position and was in the top 10 coming out of the first corner, everything was looking up, except that it wasn’t actually.  I did not feel myself at all.  In a matter of minutes I had dropped back at least 20 riders and was hanging just to hold onto the wheel.  After a few laps my back started killing me.  

In 2011 I slipped a disc in my back while I was racing in Germany and low and behold, it had gone again.  It was radiating pain all across my lower back and down my legs.  It was all I could do not to stop every time I went past the pits.  It was the National Masters Road Race Championships the following day where I was hoping to defend my title and I had no choice but to miss them.  I knew this injury and I knew a few hours was not going to fix it.

A hastily booked trip to the GP & chiropractor on Monday confirmed my fears that my disc had indeed gone again.  Not only is it painful but the gel that bulges out of the disc presses onto the nerve of my right leg.  This prevents signals being sent to it which means a big loss in strength in that leg.  Over the previous few weeks I had been feeling that something wasn’t quite right and I was missing the edge I’d had in previous years.  I was worried I had overtrained but didn’t feel burnt out and in fact it had been really stressing me out.  I am usually an attacking rider but didn’t have the extra zing to do it.  This explained it all.  It was no wonder I didn’t feel as competitive when I only had one leg at full strength, my right one was very noticeably weak.  It was no wonder I felt so bad at Redditch.

Sadly this means I’ve had to step away from my bike for a few weeks.  Not an easy thing to do.  Not least as it meant I missed the last round of the Tour Series in Woking when I was sitting in 4th place overall and Woking was worth double points but also as I’d have to miss the National TT & RR championships that I’d been training all year for.  Gutted does not describe it.

I’m lucky to have fantastic support from my chiropractor Nick Metcalfe at The Chiropractic Clinic in New Malden www.backandneckpain.co.uk who is doing everything he can to get me back on two wheels as soon as possible and it’s working.  It’s already improved loads quicker than in 2011 and I’m itching to get back on the bike.  In the meantime it’s been a case of finding other things to keep fit and distract myself.  I’ve dusted off my goggles and started swimming again and spent the weekend at the beach walking, sea swimming and canoeing.  Things I never get the chance to do usually.  Meanwhile my Cannondale is waiting patiently for the day when we can head out again, it won’t come too soon!

Natalie x

Friday, 23 May 2014

Midweek win for Adel

With only 7 girls signing on for the local midweek race we were set off amongst the 85 3/4 category racers. Now normally I'm the first to be keen to race in with the men but this year I have found the fear and have the jitters bunch racing so the prospect didn't fill me with enthusiasm.

I decided the front was where I needed to be and actually settled pretty quickly only slipping back through the bunch once which was enough to ensure I didn't do it again! Having said that really there were a few 'hold your lines' and 'whoa's' but with an ave speed of over 25mph the racing was relatively safe and controlled.

At this point I would just like to say, when someone asks you to hold your line it's because you are veering in a sporadic manner and causing a ripple of sporadic veering behind you but actually not going anywhere, when I then move through the bunch into spaces that have appeared, taking a moment for a quick check over my shoulder to ensure I'm not about to take anyone with me, its not necessary for you to aggressively repeat my previous comment although it did give me a mid race chuckle :-)

There were, I believe, 3 ladies left in the bunch in the final stages of the race and my nerves got the better of me. I hadn't seen much of the girls during the race so I wasn't sure who was still around, but coming through the chicane to the finish line the bunch got pretty twitchy and I moved myself into the wind and out of it, sure enough a few came down taking youngster and daughter of the race organiser Ruby with them. I know Ruby has a decent sprint on her and seems to getting stronger each year so I am pleased to come away with a win on the night but no one likes a race to finish up this way.

Best healing wishes to all involved but I think it was just surface wounds.