Monday, 16 July 2012

Tour of Blackpool

Consisting of a 1km prologue around a crit circuit, a crit, and a short flat road race, we went to Blackpool with high hopes for a good result, particularly for Lou who is a fast cornerer and explosive on the flat.

On the way up north we visited our lovely teammate Phoebe, and got an idea how she got to be so good at climbing, with her house being surrounded by what look like mountains to a Londoner!
The circuit turned out to be a long oval, with a hairpin at one end and a slightly wider one at the other, and two long straights, not quite the twisty circuit we were hoping for but with a good crowd around and kids races on we were feeling pretty positive and having fun anyway. We put on our new and improved skinsuits, from Halo Sports, which look awesome, and long sleeved jerseys and started warming up, unfortunately we got a bit carried away warming up and missed the chance to do a practice lap of the course so the prologue ended up being a very fast sighting lap – not ideal, and we finished within 0.1 seconds of each other is 26th and 28th respectively or thereabouts, but only six seconds back from the leader.

We both went into the crit with all guns blazing and Lou attacked from the start, making sure it was an exciting race, despite lots of attacking, nothing stuck and it came down to a bunch sprint, and we both finished around the middle. I was very happy to make it to the end of the crit with the main bunch for the first time this year, but personal victory aside, we hadn’t done anything to improve our standing in the race!

I could hardly contain my excitement to be at the seaside so we had fish and chips by the sea and looked at the tower and the hen parties and dodged seagulls for a bit before heading over to Burnley to stay the night before the road race. Lou had picked us what may once have been a spectacular hotel but undergoing ‘restoration’ and after a pre bed trip to McDonalds we settled in to watch the tour and get some sleep.

The road race was 12 laps of a twisty rolling circuit on narrow roads and with some very muddy bits. Unfortunately Lou got someone’s handlebars stuck in her wheel after a few girls came down and lost two spokes, and the race, and that was the end of that!

On the 200 mile drive home we drowned our sorrows in a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and sang along to the radio, and in the end, racing aside, I had a fun weekend away with Lou in Blackpool, and hearing that Natalie had become a National Champion while we were away made for a pretty successful weekend for TMBG!


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