Iona at Peterborough Crit

Iona at Peterborough Crit

Saturday, 29 March 2014

March and season start!

Racing thus far!

After a weeks training in Spain at end of Feb it was back to racing with the first of a series of crits at York and Prissick circuits.

Last weekend 22nd March, it was a full weekend of racing.  While Sandra, Nicola, Linda, Steph and Kim headed to Hog Hill, which saw a field of 100 riders!
Brit and I headed north to Middlesborough for the Prissick Crit.  It was Brit's first race back after a month off the bike due to illness.
It was also the first outing of the season, for our new team shoes, many thanks to Northwave, i-ride and Geoffrey Butler Cycles!

There were 5 of us for the start of race.  Within the first 2 laps we'd lost all but one other girl.  I decided to attack, I got a gap, but she brought me back.  Then Brit attacked, and I was left having to chase back on!  Next thing the other girl attacked Brit!  I bridged across to Brit then set about reeling in the escapee!  She was strong, but eventually with 3 laps remaining we closed the gap.
Into final lap and I was leading it out, however the other rider wanted to have lead into final bend, but I came back round her, and kept lead.  Only for me to ground pedal on inside of bend.  I heard Brit yell form behind, as the other girl started to come round me, it was a head wind finish!  Having to check my speed out of corner having grounded pedal on inside of bend, I tried to keep the momentum.  But no good she had the gap, and Brit was chasing for 2nd place.  We well and truly attacked ourselves into the ground trying to get rid of our fellow rider.  Only to get beaten by her, we later found out that she was a youth rider!!! 

After race: 4:30pm and Brit and I started the road trip down to Sudbury, a 4hr drive south, to race Ipswich road race next day.  We arrived down in time for Lasange, yum, thanks Sandra!

Next day, race day!  Nic, Brit and I we're racing.  Sandra after a good race at Hog hill previous day, decided to take an easy day and not race, instead she was the all important team back up, cheering us round course!
The race came down to a bunch of 12!  The three of us tried several times to split the bunch further, but by last lap it was probably going to come down to a bunch sprint.  I got stuck on front last lap.  Brit didn't want to get boxed in.  By the time we got to final hill, before line, I went too early, Brit came off my wheel at the point I SHOULD have been starting the lead out! 
Brit still managed a well deserved 4th place, and Nicola in 5th.  I rolled in 11th after having gone way too early into the final hill!  Oh well we live and learn, we'll get it right next time. 

This Weekend

This weekend, and today's race Saturday 29th March.  Brit and I we're racing at York again today.  Jo Blackburn also came, and guest rode for us.  So as we lined up on start line, the race was handicapped, 13 against 4!  3 of us in handicapped group in Geoffrey Butler Kit!
We worked well together the 4 of us.  Until we caught the bunch.  I attacked the bunch out of the hairpin, into the tail wind finish straight.  We got rid of most of field, then i kept it going for two laps, and we finally got rid of all but our fellow Albarosa rider.  Albarosa girl was out numbered 3 to 1.  With 10 laps to go, Jo did a hard turn out of hairpin, and I just let her go! 
A few laps down, and the Albarosa girl seemed to have no intension of closing the gap to Jo!  Silly girl, you should never let a time trialist up the road!  I think she was far too concerned with marking Brit and myself to care that one of our team mates was half a lap up!
Unfortunatly Jo somehow managed to come a cropper on the hairpin with about 5 laps to go!  Think she caught her pedal on inside of corner.  Brit and I slowed as we passed Jo to check she was ok, as Jo was in middle of track on final hairpin.  It was then the Albarosa rider decides to attack us! 

Time to re asses, so Jo was out, such a shame she was on for the win! 
I was going to lead Brit out form final corner.  Perfect with tail wind finish.  Jo was still on ground in track, and we we're having to take the inside line round final hairpin carefully.  Last lap and I was on front, but Brit was third wheel, not where she needed to be!  After trying to swing off to allow Brit to come round Albarosa rider, I had to rely on Brit being able to get round her in finish straight.  Into final hairpin, I lead into bend.  Only to find the first aid guy had put his bag in the middle of the hairpin, on the inside, which was the line we had been taking previously.  There was a man in track waving us round to outside of bend, which is the line I took.  I led out sprint form that final bend.  We caught some lapped riders and I had to go wide, allowing Albarosa girl to come through on inside.  Nearing line, and i saw someone coming round me on my right, hoping it was Brit, but it wasn't!  I kicked again to accelerate a bit more, next thing, meters form line, and next thing the Albarosa girl manages to veer into me!  I have to check my speed and try stay upright!  Damn 2nd again for me!

Brit no where in sight, rolls in after us.  Turns out she managed to ride into the damn paramedics first aid bag!!!!!  I mean come on who on earth thinks it a good idea to put a bag in middle of track when there's a race going on!  Luckily Brit was ok, and stayed up right, but that was the end of any hopes for the sprint for her!

Luckily Jo too was ok, just a bit bruised and a ruined bran new skin suit, but apart form that all good!

So all in all an eventful couple of weekends racing!  Let's hope that's all miss haps out of way! 
Next stop Malta 3 day's form now, bring it on! 


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Wheeler's 25 mile Wonder

Coalville Wheelers 25 mile 2up TTT

The course consisted of two laps of a course around Griffydam, close to the Women’s Team Series race in Coalville later in the year.  My teammate was Kath Pyke, a former pro rock climber and a very strong rider, Kath was happy to guest for Team GB and wear our team colours.   Thanks Kath  J
It was a fast start, on a downhill section on a lovely winding road, this was definitely my favourite part of the course.  Time trailing for 25 miles was new to both Kath and myself so our main aim was to keep the pace steady and make sure we worked as team.  The first half of the course was flattish and then through a village with speed bumps and cars to negotiate. The course turned lumpy before heading back along a slight uphill in a head wind, but then it was onto the second lap and the nice downhill winding road...but no chance to ease off here!

We returned to the clubhouse for a good spread of cakes and hot drinks, all buzzing from the event. 
Thanks to all the Wheelers and the Pymm family for the excellent organisation and looking after all the riders with the tea and cakes also to Gareth for lending me the Cosmics (who needs brakes hey)!

Overall, good fun and a great experience – Kath


Monday, 3 March 2014

2 Up TT If you go down to the woods today.............

If you go down to the woods today...............

The 2nd of March saw Stephi and myself heading further south to the new forest to ride a 2 up 10 mile TT .
Now as a team we do seem to have a fascination with zoo's , and singing children's nursery rhymes such as daddy's gona take  us to the zoo tomorrow, not the normal run of choice motivational songs!!! (Iona) 
The day was slightly overcast but dry, and the location lovely right in the new forest.....
Stephi and I duly got our faithful steads ready, with much phaffing to be done!! 
Onto the rollers and the turbo, and we were happily warming up.
A little time later, Stephi and I went down the rode for a bit just to get a little bit of 2 up practice in.
For both of us it was the first time we had ridden our TT bikes since last season, so a few adjustments here and there and we were almost ready to get down to the start......
On the way down, I spotted a few little donkeys in the road, we casually passed them by and over the cattle grid (Not sure Abe my TT bike likes cattle grids) down to the bottom of the road, and just to the left for the start.........

After last minute Important tasks to be done, we timed it to the start with perfection, mouth going dry, heart starting to race, 30 seconds to go, phaffing to get the position right, 5,4,3,2,1 off we was about a mile to the first turn, which I have to say came up quite quickly, with the turn negotiated, it was a bit of a windy up and downy road , thus far the course I thought was nice, we were really enjoying it, and the scenery which will be more evident later on in this blog.....

Sandra and Stephi

Had we reccied the course first we would have noticed a bit of a shortish sharp climb up to the next left turn, but we dug in deep and put a good hard effort in up to the left turn thanking the marshals as we went by. 
As this road cleared of bushes and houses it proved to be a bit of a cross wind which was hard going but nonetheless we kept working hard, another bit of a small drag then another left where we were now on the top of the hill form the start.

There was a lovely swooping downhill to another stiff drag, however we did get held up by a car that got stuck behind another 2 up team. One final left hand turn and we had the finish in our sights, pushing harder and harder as you do, we crossed the finish line, happy with our efforts.......

The course was varied and interesting, and the wildlife a welcome site.
We started off the day seeing a couple of donkeys, then we saw horses, and then a couple of happy chomping pigs searching for truffles!!!

Our Friend

But there was one species we couldn't  identify!! 

We have called him Steve, we realised he liked Coffee!!!

We cooled down, and then went to the Nomansland Reading Room, to check the times, and we were pleased to see that we had won the ladies side of the competition, which was really nice. 

We received some lovely prizes of Water bottles and some lovely flowers and some prize money, a totally well organised friendly event, of which I am certain we will be back again soon. Thank you to Antelope CC for a lovely well organised event.