Monday, 23 May 2011

S.E women's road race championships, by Kate.

I got lost on the way to the race and also ran out of petrol, so the car was chugging away. I was quite stressed when I got to the HQ but it was such a nice event ran by nice helpful people, and seeing a few people I knew including Anna and Ed - I chilled out a bit and thought I'd worry about the petrol situation after. 

I wanted to drive the course but didn't get time, so the first lap was spent taking everything in. The finish of the lap was on a hill, which I thought would suit me quite well. A few people tried attacks on this hill which I went with throughout the race but the bunch also went with it and no one managed to break. So after a while and realising that it was going to all come down to the last uphill stretch. Lou and I had a good chat and Lou even had a little sing song which made me laugh a lot. 

It all started to ramp up a bit on the final lap and people were trying to get in a good position. However all of a sudden the hill at the end seemed to look exactly the same the whole way up and I couldn't figure out where we were, so I went for it - only to realise that I had gone way too early as it dawned on me that the corner I was sprinting too was not the final corner - oooppss. I tried to keep it going as people started to come past me, including Lou who also misjudged the finish line and had gone for it, but managed to keep it going to get 3rd! I don't think I've ever tried so hard to hold on and came away with 7th. My chain came off about a half a metre before the line - which was ridiculously lucky really - had it of come off earlier it would have been so frustrating. I was annoyed with myself for getting over excited and going too early but it was so much fun and I loved it.

Anna's parents - Geraldine (who was also racing and said she really enjoyed it) and Marek were there to help me sort out my petrol situation. Marek got into boy scout mode and dismantled a pump to suck the petrol out of their car to put into mine - thanks rock!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kate races again!

Our newest member to racing is Kate Hewett, it's cool as a team to be able to help her and teach her and watch her progress. She is phenomenally strong, and with a bit of experience we have high hopes for her. At the moment, it's so cool to see her having fun and "getting into it." Here's her report of her latest race, none other than the National Women's Hillingdon Grand Prix.  

"It was fun. I finished in the bunch...was pretty high end, found it relatively easy although knew I was never going to do particularly well just by looking at start list. I was really lonely yesterday - it went from me, lou, wie and Fran riding as a team to just me on my own. I got stuck in and just used it to practice cornering and sitting in bunch. I enjoyed it and think I'm slowly getting more confident 
I think next Saturday will be good."

Monday, 9 May 2011

Goodwood Ladies 3-4's

Kate gets a fantastic 4th, after devouring every last scrap of her Mulebar gel
A field of about 18 women turned up which was brilliant. It was a fairly steady race with a few attacks in, but due to the wind every attack got chased down pretty quickly. All the girls were riding really well and confidently. I got round the corner in the top 7 which set me up for a fairly good position to do okay. (Although the sprint was into the wind and despite being told to hold on to a wheel for as long as poss, it didn't quite work out like that!). Fun day!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Coming together of the MuleBar Girl Road Race Team

The MBG's have prided ourselves in having a team of girls who have the right attitude, we'd rather race with fun, friendly, supportive and firey girls, than simply someone who gets results. We race as well as we can, and have a wine after. Ultimately, we want a team of friends, because if we're not having fun and having adventures then Mule Bar ain't interested.
So over the last few months we have worked hard at finding guest riders to support the core group in the coming road season. Road racing for women is getting very exciting and it's status is growing, and we don't want to miss out! Finally, at the Bedford 2 day, we had the chance to ride and work together for the first time. Here's how we got on:

team Time Trial
Bedford was an experience as always :-) All the girls did an amazing job and I am really proud of them. It was tough as we were up against teams like Horizon fitness and the Marshall's pasta girls, all of who have competed in many stage races before. 

Stage 1 Team Time Trial
I think we did an awesome job here, we rode really smoothly together and did a respectable time considering we had never done one before. Lou did well over her fare share of work dragging us all home on the last few Km. Thanks so much xxx

Stage 2 Rd Race
This was tough tough tough, the speed of the first lap was the fastest i have ever ridden in a womens team series race. 2 girls broke away straight from the gun which pushed the pace up. Girls were being shelled off the back immediately. it was really exciting and exactly why i like rd racing. I managed to hang on for 1 1/2 laps and then pulled over to spew, Lou clung on for a while longer and then got dropped when she didnt realise she was at the back of the pack when they suddenly attacked on the hill. Kate, Beckie and Francesca managed to form their own chain gang after being dropped. They were working really well together and picking up loads of strays when they got pulled from the race 2 laps early which was really frustrating as this really affected their GC points. 
This was 3 mile TT around the bowl. It was so bloody windy that it felt like you were going no where for about 2/3 or the lap but then you would suddenly get a tail wind and it was awesome. We all did respectable times considering the conditions

Stage 4 - Final Rd Race
This circuit is BRUTAL!!!! It is on a closed motor circuit so there is not traffic to battle with. There are 2 major climbs so the course is suited to the climber. Again it went off realy quickly, I think myself, Francesca and Beckie got shelled on the 1st hill which is not surprising, we were are the back of the pack so it was tough to stay with them as they all attacked on the hill. Lou decided to go for a break on the hill not sure what came of that.  lou and Kate did a great job and I believe stuck with the leading group for a while longer.

Lou and Kate finished in 2nd bunch which at one point was only 40secs behind the man bunch of about 20 riders. Lou even manage to lead out Kate for the final sprint in the small chain ring as her shifter had broken for the last few laps of the race. Lou you are a legend!!!! Francesca and Beckie both finished in small groups behind but looked really strong through out. Francesca dropped her chain so did an awesome job to catch up with other riders and carry on.

All in all a great couple of days and I think we have a fab road team forming.