Friday, 25 April 2014

Nigel Measom 2-day

On the 19th/20th April, a reduced team of MBG's took part in a new race for the women's calendar... The Nigel Measom 2-day. Clem, Natalie, Adel and Louise took to the start line while Emily was racing a time trial for her University.

The team were able to tie this race in with a nice little team, Easter weekend, staying at Phoebe's house, who really looked them! Pasta cooked to make sure Nat wouldn't go hungry and packed lunch for Emily, we headed off to our races.

Here, Clem looks back on the racing...

The prologue results speak for themselves - I completed the whole 2.7 miles in the small ring! I wasn't going for GC so wanted to save energy for the Stage 1.

Stage 1 
I spent most of my time hiding in the bunch coming near the front when Lou was on the attack to avoid the peloton chasing. It seemed everyone was working towards a sprint finish with pace going very slow at points. We had anticipated this due to the flat profile and nature of the course, so we wanted to practice a lead-out just after the last corner, which was a blind 90 degree bend some 2km before the finish which left the girls time to position themselves near the front. After 7 laps of the 7.4 miles circuit, Nat and Lou managed to get near the front with me close behind before we hit that last corner when things got hectic with teams looking pretty disorganised. This meant we lost contact with the front by the time we came to the 1km mark, but Lou and I managed our way through to regain contact... only to get blocked before the line and I could only manage 10th or 11th.

Nat and Lou enjoying some photo-bombing. Photo: Huw Williams
Stage 2 
This was a similar 7.7 miles circuit but with a few hills of 2-4% gradients so still favouring sprinters but with a block headwind on half the route which was mostly uphill, it was going to be testing. The pace started quite slowly, just like the previous day. With 3 laps to go, I decided to get to the front to push the pace and avoid any breaks but after doing most of the headwind stretch on my own and as I was slowing to let some of the other teams share the work, nobody came through and Alexie Shaw cleverly jumped away with Penny Rowson on her wheel. I tried to follow but after my long effort, I just couldn't, so I retreated to the safety of the bunch for a break. With no team chasing, I got to the front and with the help of one VeloSport rider and one Bonito rider, we eventually closed the break and as I was still near the front, Natalie went for it with impeccable timing! To everyone's surprise, nobody chased her down and after a full lap of fighting the wind on her own, Alexie Shaw bridged to Nat for the final few kilometres.

Nat' break - Photo courtesy of Huw Williams
As Matrix moved to the front to start a late chase, we could see Nat and Alexie in the distance as we drew closer to the line, so I moved nearer to the front in case the break got caught. Luckily, they didn't and despite slipping on the approach to the line, Nat managed a great 2nd place and I finished with the bunch (top 10 I think).

Thanks to the organisers for putting on such a great race and looking forward to our next race, Cheshire Classic.

As always thanks to Sigma Sport, MulebarCannondale, Lazer, Oakley, Wildoo and AnaNichoola!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Lou crashed, but don't ask her how - it is fairly embarrassing :)

Clem x

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