Monday, 21 May 2012

Sitting on the sofa and my legs are pooped. In fact, most of me is pooped. This was a pretty heavy weekend of racing and riding. Across the country riders have been battling it out on the road for the regional championships and yesterday in the South East was the women’s only champs, thanks to the Surrey League and Kingston Phoenix the hosting club. Yesterday saw a record start of over 60 riders and some hard fought racing.

Lou, Sarah and I were on the line up and at the front from the get go. The course had a slight uphill towards the finish but was largely only slightly rolling. With attacks and counter attacks going from the first time up the hill I was really enjoying myself getting in the mix of action. Unfortunately despite our best efforts nothing seemed to stick. I had a dig, Lou had a dig, Sarah had a dig, repeat. We saw lots of air between us and the bunch with other riders joining to try and make sustainable breaks but the bunch was not keen on letting anyone go. If the photos are anything to go by though, you can’t say we didn’t try. One of us in off or on the front in almost every one!

As we approached the hill for the last time it was a close call between Karla Boddy (High Wycombe CC) and Lydia Boylan (Look Mum No Hands) in the sprint for the line. Karla took it by a whisker with Lydia taking the South East Champs jersey. I’m really impressed with how hard the whole peleton raced, echoed by some spectators I was chatting to at the end.

Thankfully my legs didn’t feel too bad this morning as it was my club, Twickenham CC’s interclub time trial champs where riders from Hounslow & District Wheelers and Westerley CC and TCC are pitted against each other over a 25 mile handicap course. I won it a few years back when I was given a 20 minute handicap but no one was quite as nice to me this morning! To get a few extra miles in I rode the 2 hours there which seemed like a great idea until it was time to ride the two hours back. All I wanted to do was yawn and sleep! Still, it’s all good training and has given me plenty of excuse to sit on the sofa tonight and dream of next week when it’s supposed to be 22 degrees – Yey!

Also, wishing a speedy recovery to Lisa Gunn (WyndyMilla) who came down pretty hard – hope to see you back on the bike soon!

Natalie xx

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Cheshire Classic

Last weekend was the first of the Women’s national road race series in Cheshire. Everyone had Sarah Storey down as favourite for the win from the start and she didn’t disappoint, but it was Natalie that rode away from the bunch and made the gap happen! When I saw them go up the road I thought to myself that that might be the last we would see of them but after a few very fast laps Natalie was back in the bunch with me and pushing the pace up again! I was busy trying to hold my place near the front of the group, thinking what Lou would be yelling at me if she was there, and stay out of the wind, but with 2 laps to go Natalie found me and we started moving up. For the whole of the last lap I was glued to her wheel with teeth gritted and elbows out but was still there after a furious lap with Natalie holding the whole bunch off! We came into the last corner first and second wheel and had briefly discussed a lead out before the race, if we were both still there at the end, so as the hill started to ramp up I was thinking about making my move and slightly to the left of the road, when Corrinne Hall lead the attack on the right and I managed to box myself in! I eventually came to my senses after faffing about wondering what to do and went after them but, uphill into the wind I soon found my legs starting to crumble and the line seemed not to be getting any closer! I managed to cross the line in 14th place, so one better than Twickenham, but really enjoyed it. Having such an experienced rider with me, I’ve learnt so much this last month and hopefully will start putting some of it into action soon!

love Sarah xxx