Going into Sheffield I had little expectation of what was to come. I was betting that I would be lapped 15 minutes into the race and would most likely be dead last. Although I had had a relatively good ride at Otley the month previous I thought that was just luck given that it was raining and I strangely love rain.
We arrived at the course and it really sunk in what a big event it was. However after my mistake at the Nocturne being way too hyper and nervous on the start line, I knew I had to keep my calm. I got myself ready and did my roller warm up before Hannah and I checked out the course. It was definitely going to be fast, but to my delight it featured a cobbled climb. We did a couple of laps before heading for the line. It was crazy to be sat on the line next to Katie Archibald, until of course she got brought forward to the front row. Everywhere I looked there where good riders. Looking over on to the big screen and seeing myself peering over the other riders was very surreal. Strangely I was quite calm as we all came forward to the line.
We were soon off behind the motor bike for our neutralised lap. After that single neutralised lap, we were off and I clung on to the back for a couple of laps, which was a lot more than some of the riders. Hannah and I were dropped with 3 others. I knew that if we didn’t react quick enough we would be too far back to catch anyone who got dropped in the later stages, so I went to the front and put in a few massive efforts, staying pretty much at the front of this group for more than five laps. As a result our group had now grown in size. We kept chasing with the pace very high, and kept catching more and more riders as we went on. With 7 laps to go, we were lapped by the leaders. By this point, while we had caught a large number at the front, we had also lost a few off the back. With one lap to go I lost contact with the group and finished slightly behind.
To say I was happy with my ride is understatement. Having gone though a bit of a rough patch due to exams and races that didn’t suit me I was so happy to be back as I saw it. It was definitely a race I would remember for a long time!