Iona at Peterborough Crit

Iona at Peterborough Crit

Saturday, 21 September 2013

My National Circuit TT Preparation – reaching goals and breaking records

In addition to winning a National TT medal, another of my late season aims was to break the female course record on my local 10 course at Bottisham.  When I first started cycling I hated this course; despite living in one of the flattest parts of the country, there is a steep bridge about 2.5 miles in which makes the course quite slow.  Believe me, when you weight 90kgs+ as I did when I started cycling, that bridge is really tough going! I seemed to “crack it” last year though when I finished 2nd in the University Championship (BUCS) 10 – now I love the course and use it to judge my form and how well I’m TT-ing.  The record that I wanted to beat was 23.12, set in 2010 by Mathilde Matthijsse at the BUCS 10 mile Championship.  Mathilde has since gone on to finish in the top 10 at the Dutch National TT Championships and also won the Tour Ta Malta this year so she is a very strong rider.  I had 3 opportunities in August to beat her record and so was hoping for good conditions on at least one of these occasions! The first was at a Team Cambridge 10 on Wednesday 14th August.  I had a slightly stressful hour before heading over to the event, having to “Un-UCI” my P4 by changing the seatpost and putting the bottle cage back on.  Although these sound like simple tasks, no job on the P4 ends up being simple and changing the seatpost was no exception! Despite this, I got to the event with some time to spare for a warm up and although the wind was a little higher than had been predicted, it was still relatively low for Bottisham.  I felt good in warm up and was confident of putting in a good performance in my first TT in 2 months.  Sure enough, with about 2 miles to go I checked my garmin and found that I was on track for a short-23.  I gave it everything I had and crossed the line in 23.07, having beaten the previous record by 5 seconds!

Another local club was holding a TT on the same course the following day, which I opted to forego in favour of training.  However, I returned to Bottisham the next Wednesday, 21st August, to see if I could better my record in the last evening 10 of the season.  Unfortunately, when I arrived at the course I discovered that I had left the arm pads from my tribars at home, having taken them off to dry-out after a particularly sweaty turbo session.  With no time to retrieve them, I decided to toughen up and race without them, hoping that the pain in my legs would mask any pain in my arms! When I was getting ready to race, Laura Massey turned up to sign on.  Massey has been TT-ing a lot more this season and is a really strong rider who is well suited to the Bottisham 10 course so I knew I would have to ride hard to defend my record.  The first 5 miles of the course is much slower than the return 5 and so when I reached the turn in just over 12 minutes I knew I was riding well.  Unfortunately, I then discovered that the return leg would be into a fairly brisk headwind – time to toughen up! I forgot all about my lack of arm pads and pushed as hard as I could to the finish…and was rewarded with a 22.54.  Massey crossed the line in 23.02, beating the record I had set the previous week so it was a good job I turned up to race!

Bottisham 10 results from the final evening TT of the season:

Massey and I had a rematch scheduled for the August bank holiday when we were both racing the VC10 event on the F11/10.  When I first raced this course in June I recorded a PB of 21.02 in driving rain and fairly strong crosswinds so I was looking forward to seeing what I could do in better weather.  The F11 is a favourite of time triallists, being a very fast but relatively safe course on the A41.  As a result, events on the course are always oversubscribed and there is a lot of pre-race chat about them on the timetrialling forum.  The VC10 event was no exception.  First, there were complaints about the fact that all (24) female entries had been accepted, regardless of previous time, whilst the men’s cut-off time was a long-21.  I am proud to say that my PB would have guaranteed me entry into the event, female or not.  Secondly, lots of people were talking about the road surface.  The course is on a border between two different counties, one of which is good at maintaining its road and the other of which is not.  As a result, the first 2 miles is terrible, with numerous potholes and cracks in the tarmac spreading across both carriageways.  Since June, the fast, smooth section of the course has been (unnecessarily) resurfaced with chippings, deadening the surface, whilst the awful section at the start remains untouched.  Thirdly, and finally, there was a lot of talk about wind direction.  When I rode the course in June the wind was strong, but in the “right direction”.  Although the forecast for wind speed for the bank holiday was low, it was in the “wrong direction”.  I thought about it and decided that low wind would surely be better than high wind from a certain direction – bring on a fast ride!

The conditions on the day were lovely – bright and sunny (if anything perhaps a little too warm) with fairly low wind (only about 9 mph).  I had a good long warm-up and arrived at the start, the last of the women to go off, feeling ready to race.  I thought I was going quite well and pushing myself hard but when I looked down at my garmin for time checks I found that I was actually going slower than in June! The newly chipped section of road felt dead and draggy under my wheels and the head-wind for the final 2 miles, although not actually that strong, made life really tough.  I was gutted when I crossed the line in 21.49, convincing myself that there was no way I could win the women’s event with that time and that I had somehow lost form.  Of course I was just being pessimistic and it turned out that I was the only woman on the day to ride sub-22 (Massey finished 2nd, 12 seconds behind me).  So it seems that sometimes the TT forum does speak the truth – that course is actually much faster with a strong wind than a low one, provided it is in the correct direction.

Photo from the VC10 event on the F11/10:

Some good TT-ing results for the month, proving that I was on good form - bring on the final few races of the season!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Ras Na Mban Stage 3 The Team Time Trial

Friday the 13th started with a Team Time Trial, 13.8Km in the village of Barefield, just an out and back, fairly flattish course. The weather was perfect, no strong winds, no rain.

We arrived to the tunes of Lady Ga Ga , but she was not to be the song in my head for the time trial, this was reserved for none other than Paul Wheller and the Jam with "A Town Called Mallice" or if your slightly younger, the  tune that Billy Elliot taps along to.

We got the bikes off the roof, Steve gave us our instructions and off we went for our warm up, practicing. All was going well, and smooth.

Iona was first leg, followed by Karen, myself, Michelle and then Nicola!!
Lining up , it was too late for a wee, but I needed one. Once in the cleats, being held up, this was it, the town called Mallice starting to beat, or , was that my heart??? We were off, we very soon got organised, and the communication between us all , was perfect, we all worked like Trojans , fly over bridge done, roundabout done, fly over bridge and just under 2km to go, we could now see the village sign, and you always manage to squeeze that little bit more out......

Over the line, all of us, what a great feeling and the best TTT I've experienced, now resting up having had a feast in the pub here at Dromoland, ready for tonight's, sunny crit 


Stag 2 The Beast of Burran

Stage 2 saw us once again roll out from Ennis, the song for today was Mr Bubble himself, and I just haven't met you yet...? Over and over , again, only certain words I can remember, amongst concentrating on the bunch and what's happening and making sure I'm NOT drifting to the back.!!!
It was a nice slow roll out, although sometimes I prefer it to be a tad faster, staying with the main bunch until the first real climb of the day, and putting everything into it, I was finding myself just loosing touch, however this was with  a good number of other girls and it was with these that I spent the rest of the journey with.
The corkscrew climb wasn't as bad as I had geared it up to be, and it seemed over before it had begun, we had really started to form a nice good number of girls in our group
Past the lovely coast line, which was at this point completely fogged out, and it was really starting to rain. Strangely by now for a small while, I was singing in my head, "it's a beautiful day"  and oddly enough, until I had , had the conversation with my best room Karen Poole back at the hotel I didn't realise that the song was sung by The Levellers, but it's one that does pop into my head when perhaps the sun isn't shining as much as I believe it should be.

We rolled on, and eventually passed the sign for 20km to go, and we were working all together well. Then 5km to go, and I guess on tired legs, it was ts that I found more testing, but again, 100m was in sight, and I was so pleased, it was a good hard day, testing, I came in 74th which put me back a few platings to 64th on GC, but still happy with personal performance.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Ras na m'Ban Stage 2 - the Corkscrew (by Karen)

This morning dawned in the traditional Irish way - very dreich and drizzly.  Just perfect for an epic bike race! Things didn't really improve as we headed from our hotel down to the start in Ennis (although at least no punctures en route this morning).
We rolled away from the start just after 10:45, for a 3km neutralised section through the streets on Ennis and out towards the Burren. Just as I had done yesterday, I used the neutralised section to move up as close to the front as I could, which sounded like it had been a good idea as the crashes started even before neutral was over.
Racing at the front of a peloton always feels like a pretty amazing place to me.  I look around and see not just the best UK riders, but also national champions and riders who have raced for their country and world championships.  But today was not a day for doubting that I belonged there, today was going to be my day!

We quickly rolled over 2 small bumps that were categorised climbs and were heading up onto the Burren when two crashes in close succession split the peloton into smithereens.  I was in front of the first one, and despite carnage all around me managed to stay upright approaching the second one, and watching a DN Bretagne girl careering into the pile of mashed up carbon and bodies at full speed.  Then it was a quick chase back on to reach the leading group of probably about 30 riders.  The carnage had allowed a few riders to slip off the front, but no one seemed all that interested in chasing them at this stage.  There was a fun descent off the first of the Burren climbs where I discovered that many girls cannot descend in wet conditions, then a switchback at the bottom to take us into the first 2nd cat climb of the day, the Corkscrew.  I had positioned myself well (about 5th wheel), and kept pace when the Canadian girl riding for DID put the hammer down.  That shed a lot of people, and over the top there were only about 15 of us left in the lead group including UK riders Hannah Barnes, Julie Erskine, Laura Massey, Liz Malins and Lydia Boylan.  Suddenly all the hard work felt as if it had paid off, as I sat in and enjoyed the ride with quality riders.  We were eventually caught back up by a second group of about 15 riders so the run in to the bottom of the final climb of the day got a bit nervy as the weaker climbers in the group tried to jostle for position to minimise their loss.  In the end it didn't matter as the same group of riders who had broke away up the Corkscrew got away again.  I didn't quite manage to hold their wheels this time, so sat close to the front of the next group, whilst letting others do the work.  That too paid off as I had plenty of legs left for the final uphill sprint, finishing 3rd out of my group, and a brilliant 14th overall.  I got my High 5 and congratulatory cuddle from Steve, then we went to the line to cheer in the others.  Nicola was in next, and had clearly had a hard day.  Then came Sandra, and finally Iona and Michelle.

It had rained all race, but to me it hadn't mattered at all.  The sheer pleasure of having a great race when it mattered and the stunning Burren scenery overshadowed the weather by a very long way.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Ras Na Mban stage 1

Stage 1 arrived sooner than I thought, given the fact that the race didn't start until 5, before I knew it we were all assembled at the start, nervous faces, smiley faces for the camera.

We had a gentle ride down from our accomodation at the Inn at Dromond, a slight panic as one of our girls in the group punctured on route, but very quickly sorted, and we arrived in good time.

Another warm up before the start, and we we off. The song for the start of the race in my head was, 'This is it, I know the tune, but this is it are all the words I remember, so kilometer after kilometer 'this is it still is in my head.......followed by what ever I make up, until the repeat chorus!!

We hit the first little stinger, up and over with that, and still in the main bunch, happy, the sound of the bunch now whooshing in my ears, watching making sure of what's happening in front and behind, making sure I'm not drifting too far to the back, which after all is my favorite position....

We hit the 2 Nd climb of the day, this is where I along with quite a few others started to loose touch with the main bunch, Iona, Laren and Nicola stayed up in the main bunch for the climb, that said, they were still in view, and we started to form a good chasing group as we started the decent!!
There had been a crash a few 100 meters before the QOM finish, which we avoided.

I think our group was 20 ish strong, really working hard, and starting to see the main bunch, at times I was thinking , tomorrow is a tough one  do I want to really want to work this hard, but it just seemed to roll, and eventually we caught the main bunch, it was excallent work, and the girls were all working hard, and encouraging each other as we grew closer and closer to the main bunch!!

Signs for Ennis, were in sight, I was elated, to be still in the main bunch, I suspect tomorrow will be a lot different, a much tougher day, although I still for me found today tough, but tomorrow will be tough in a different way,

4 Gb Cycles girls finished in the main bunch which is great, and Michelle came through shortly after, so a good day for us girls, I'm happy, but now tired as I need to rest up for an early start!,

Thank you for a great start to the Ras Na Mban, and this, you for the great food tonight....


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

RTTC National Circuit Time Trial Championships

In 2012 I entered the National 10 and 25 mile Time Trials on a whim; I knew I had improved dramatically from the previous year and I wanted to see what I could do against some of the best TT riders in the country.  To my surprise I finished 8th in the 10 and 9th in the 25 (results that helped me obtain my University Full Blue – a Cambridge sporting accolade).  Following this success, I aimed higher and set myself the goal of achieving a podium placing in a National TT in 2013.

Back in late May and early June I finished 4th in both the RTTC National 10 and 25 mile Championships.  I was extremely disappointed with this, especially the 10 where I was only 13 seconds off Hannah Barnes who finished 3rd.  Looking back, it seems silly to be disappointed with 4th in such strong fields and at the time my friends pointed out how good the result was.  I know that on both days I pushed myself as hard as I could and that I just didn’t have those extra seconds in me.  I was also disappointed to have only finished 17th at the British TT Championships in Glasgow in late June, a result I am determined to improve on next season.  Still, I knew that I had one more chance at the end of August in the Circuit Time Trial Championships to attain one of my season’s goals.  With little on the road calendar in August, I had plenty of time for focussed training and spent some time re-familiarising myself with my beloved TT bike (Pegasus), having not time trialled since BTTC.

I’ll fill you in with other events I did in August, in preparation for the Circuit Champs, later this week (I know there is a limit to how many cups of tea and biscuits can be consumed in one sitting).  For now, back to Nationals…

One thing that has really helped me with my road racing this season has been doing cornering practice with a friend (who also happens to have been a pro in Italy).  Knowing that there was a tough corner on the course for the Circuit Champs I arranged a TT-bike specific session with him for the Thursday, 2 days before the race.  This was a really valuable session and made me feel much more confident about my ability to take the corners on the course at a decent speed – rather than just trying to not lose time to others through the corners, I might actually gain some! I am especially grateful to Dave for helping me last Thursday given that he had a cast put on his leg that morning and was on crutches, hobbling around a car park giving me advice on my lines!

After a recovery spin on Friday it was time to head to Salisbury, where we would be staying with Mark’s parents to make the journey to the race on Saturday more manageable.  Luckily we had been warned that the traffic between Salisbury and Bovington Camp (where the HQ was) was likely to be terrible due to the Dorset Steam Fair and Bournemouth Air Show so we had factored in plenty of time for the drive on Saturday morning.  We arrived and did a circuit of the course in the car before I set off with Pegasus to ride a lap and practice That Corner.  I know that several people were caught out by the traffic and I hate feeling rushed when getting ready for a big event so I was glad that we had built in plenty of time – I really think It was beneficial to have ridden the course beforehand as the conditions on the day, coupled with the rolling terrain affected the way I planned to pace my ride.

I think that warming up on the turbo pre-race was the most nervous I have felt all season (or certainly close to it).  Normally, once I start my pre-race routine the nerves calm down and I just settle into a pattern that I have repeated many times before.  Last Saturday however, I felt quite sick during warm up and couldn’t seem to settle down.  I think the reason for this was that I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well and finish on the podium.  Neither Hannah Barnes (who came 3rd at the 10) nor Anne Turvey (who was 2nd at the 25) were racing and so I felt like I should almost be guaranteed a medal, but I also know that anything can happen in bike racing; there were people on the start sheet who hadn’t raced the 10 or 25 and other riders (like Bronwen Ewing) who had just been getting better all season.  As a result I was nervous because I didn’t want to just miss out yet again.  Regardless, I had a job to do so I got on with my pre-race routine as normal and arrived at the start with about 5 minutes to spare, confident that my bike was in excellent working order and that I was as ready as I was ever going to be! Soon enough I was being held up on the start line, ready to complete 2 laps of the circuit (just over 20 miles in total). “10” start the garmin, “5, 4…” remember to breathe, “3,2,1, GO!” Mark yelling at me to “go, go, go!”.

The race went fairly well to plan.  I quite enjoy circuit courses as you normally have a good idea of where you are on the course, whereas with some out and back TTs every meter looks the same. One thing I found on Saturday is that there are pros and cons to having so many riders on the course at once (the juniors started directly in front of the women so the fields quickly became entangled); the major downside, on a course with a roundabout and a tight left-hand bend, turned out to be having riders ahead at inopportune moments which meant I had to back off a little at times.  I also found that there were times when 4 or 5 riders had all ‘bunched up’ and I was having to stay out in the middle of the road for extended periods of time.  Mark and I had spoken beforehand about where I would be catching the riders ahead of me if I was having a good race – I caught Karina Bowie (who was my 1-minute woman) just before the end of the first lap, which was what we had hoped.  After that I caught other women who had started ahead of me at fairly regular intervals.  Mark was standing at the side of the road on the longest section of the course during my second lap to give me a time-check on Rebecca Slack.  I have never beaten Rebecca before and she almost always finishes on the podium in the RTTC National TT events.  However I felt that I was capable of beating her at some point this season and so she was the rider I was having time-checks against.  As I approached Mark I could see that his hand was raised in the air – I was up on her! I then heard him shout “8 seconds” and so I went in to overdrive, pushing as hard as I could for the remaining few miles, hoping that I could keep the gap.  I finished strongly and then made my way back to HQ to look at the results.  I had done it! An 8-second difference between me and Rebecca at the finish resulted in silver for me and bronze for her – my first National TT medal.  As expected, the women’s event was won by the unstoppable Julia Shaw – another gold cap to add to her collection.  I was pleased with my performance though as I’ve gained some ground on her since the 25 in June.  My aim now has to be getting as close to her as I can next year (or maybe even beating her at some point…?!).

There are some people without whom I never would have achieved my goals this season, and in particular this silver medal.  I’ve already mentioned Dave who has not only helped me with cornering but has also been a source of support and advice when I’ve needed it.  Secondly I must thank Daimian who not only built my TT bike in the first place but also checks it over before each of my target events to make sure that it is working perfectly.  Finally, there is no way I would have achieved anything in cycling without Mark.  He might bully me and make me train when I don’t want to but without him I would probably spend all of my time sitting on the sofa eating cake.  Clearly the training plan he has written has been working, as much as I complain about how hard he pushes me.  Thanks also to all at gbcycles who have supported me this season; Steve for giving me a place on the team in the first place and always being supportive and encouraging, Stephen for sourcing me some essential components and the girls for pushing me to be a better rider.  You all deserve medals too… but you can’t have mine ;-).

Ras na m'Ban Pre-race excitement

After a cracking weekend of time trialling, it was only a hop, step and a jump away from setting off from home for the town of Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland for the 2013 of Ras na m'Ban.

My plan was to get me and all my stuff to Steve's straight after work on Monday.  This duly happened according to plan, as did dinner and car packing. We even managed to fit everything in. Steve then mentioned the critical 'P' word - passport. Passport, no I definitely hadn't picked that up. Whilst Steve assured me I wouldn't need it for the ferry, I am flying home on Sunday and I knew I certainly wouldn't get through the airport without it, so before we'd even set off we had a 30min detour to make!

Having made it to Horsham and passport duly picked up, we set back off on our route to Fishguard. We were solely reliant on satnav as Steve had buried the road atlas deep in the boot, and things just didn't seem right, as although we were speeding along, our eta was going up not down! Quick check of the settings and we discovered it was avoiding toll roads (and therefore the Severn bridge). At the same time I reset the satnav from just going to 'Fishguard' to the postcode that we had received in a text message. Excellent, eta dropped to 1:20 and all sorted... Or so we thought.

So, across the Severn bridge, along the m4 to Cardiff, and even the turnoff onto the a470 seemed normal. Nicola (Soden) texted to say she had arrived and we still had an eta of 1:20. Then, the satnav took us further and further into the depths of welsh narrow bendy roads and the gut feeling that something was wrong grew and grew, but I was too tired to care as I knew I had programmed the satnav and it MUST be taking us to the right place. Then at just after 1:20 we pulled up to the port, at Aberaeron, approximately 40 miles north of where we should have been! What? How had that happened? Had the ferry company given us the wrong postcode? No, I had inadvertently managed to transpose the 4 and the 6 of the postcode, typing in 46 not 64.   At the same time, the low fuel light had come on, and at the spooking hour in Wales no petrol stations were open.

So, the challenge ahead of us - drive 40miles on windy roads with 40 miles worth of diesel in 30 minutes. Impossible? You would have thought so, but our saviour Nicola was waiting in the wings. Whilst we we driving as quickly as possible without burning fuel (or in other words not very fast), Nicola was working her magic with the staff at the ferry port, persuading them to wait for us. Our eta started at 2:26 (ferry departure at 2:45), but was hampered further by the longest pee in history (that couldn't even be finished for need of getting back in the car) and the mirage of a 24hr tesco petrol station appearing in the distance, that slipped to 2:30. Nicola was back on the phone again, saying that we HAD to be there by 2:20 otherwise they would have to close the gate, but that she was going to get all her stuff out of her car ready to jump in when we arrived.

Come on, come on we are going to make it. With all the texts from Nicola I actually started to believe we were going to make it. The particularly narrow windy roads through Fishguard were interesting, and suddenly 7mins became 2mins and we were there. Nicola dashed out of the building with the nice stena line lady who had already booked us in, bags got chucked in the car then we motor paced Nicola on her bike down to the boat.  As Steve said 'mother puss bucket we actually made it!'

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Dishforth and St Oliver's Mount circuit race weekend, 31st August and 1st September.

End of August, little over a week until Ras na mBan, and Brit, Jo and I were back at Dishforth Airfield for a jam packed weekend of Crit racing!

First thing first tho, Brit manged to forget her wheels!  Packed the bike, but no wheels!  Luckily she'd remembered the spares!

Race 1 women were set of a minute after the 4th Cat men.  The circuit is a 3 mile loop of a very windy exposed Airfield!  That morning tho, it wasn't particularly windy for there!

The race started fairly steadily, with the three of us happy to let the other set the pace.  Half a lap in tho, and it was Jo's job to attack first.  That she did, taking Sian Botteley of Squadra Donne with her.  I was straight on to Sian's wheel.  Sian took over the pace, and then I took up the pace form there.  Into the finish straight and Jo attacked again, and we must of had a gap, as there was, Jo, Sian and myself then, Brit behind, shouting, go, go!  Brit and I came to the front to take over from Jo, and in doing so Jo just didn't quiet make it across to our wheels.  And that was that we we're away!  Two up TT, for another 4 laps!
                                      We're away!
                                     Come on Jo!  End of lap 1.

The Break!

Last lap and into the finish, and Brit got the sprint for the win, me in 2nd!  Jo came into finish a very consistent 4th, beaten only by Sian in the sprint!

After a chilly 2 hrs wait, and by this point the wind had really picked up it was time for race 2!
This time due to lack of women staying to race the second race, we we're set of with the 4th cat's!
From the gun, Neil one of the York University riders attacked!  Brit was straight on his wheel followed by me!  Within a quarter of a lap we we're away!  The 3 of us working well together.  By the end of lap 3 of 5, I think we were both stating to struggle to hold his wheel as he powered into the head wind!  I was counting down the laps, by the last lap, it was just a case of survival.  We were in no danger of being caught by the group behind, it was just surviving the headwind and not losing the wheel in front!

Second race of the day, and our little escape group!

With  no bunch finish and so no need for a lead out, I was determined to try beat Brit in a sprint!
Brit went one side, I went the other, and I managed to hold a slight lead, and finish first!  Brit second, and Jo 5th!  Another good day's racing.

Now for day 2, race 3!
St Oliver Mount, Scarborough!  Only 5 girls signed on, so we're asked, do we want to be set off with 4th cat's!?  No I say, Yes says Brit!!!

                                     All ready for the start!

Anyway, more girls sign on and we're set off separately.  Oliver's Mount we raced the top circuit only, so no steep hill for us today, which I'm always a little disappointed about!

The circuit is a slight drag up, into a headwind for the finish and a fast slight decent into a sharp 90deg left hand bend at the other side of the circuit.

                                     Early on!

Again the 4th cat's were set off a minute ahead of us.  We set off, and quickly our group was down to 6 riders, myself, Brit, Katherine Broadbent, Rachel Bamford, Sian Botteley and an RST racing team girl. We then lost Sian, and were down to 5.
A little undecided as to how we were going to race this, have an easy race, or attack!  We knew it was going to be a lot harder to shift, either Rachel or Katherine form the group!

Brit then got board!  I was on the front, so not ready to jump away, then Brit attacked and I didn't go with it!  The others just watched her go!  Rachel and Katherine shared turns on the front, I was quiet happy to sit in or on the front and slow it down.  Brit was just dangling out front, and I just had to wait for the opportunity to jump across the gap.
If i went now, I would just drag the others with me!
Few lap's later the RST racing team, girl who had just been sitting in, she attacked up the drag on the finish straight.  Rachel went after her, but hadn't closed the gap.  I went straight down the inside, past Rachel, up to the girl who had attacked and kept on going!

It took a couple of laps, but I eventually closed the gap to Brit.  Now it was just a case of staying away.  That second half of race, i found a lot harder, having had to bridge the gap.  So Brit rode the up hill into the wind, and I rode the down, and that worked quiet well.  Brit having worked out that if we did 26 mph down the hill and 21, up that if we were going as fast as we could, then they couldn't possibly catch us!
It worked we stayed away!  Last time into the finish hill and we had caught a small group of 4th cat's, and I tried to use them as a lead out for the finish.  No beating Brit in another sprint today, it wasn't going to happen,today she was the stronger today!  A well deserved win for Brit, and another 1,2 for Geoffrey Butler Cycles!