After having a great time at the North West Tour, I unfortunately spent the majority of the following week being stuck at home with glandular fever, and on the subsequent weekend had to pull out of starting in the women’s Cycle Classic.
The following week saw the team at the London Nocturne, and a race I had been looking forward to for a long time. Luckily my illness cleared up about five days before the race so I took on the long journey down South to London. The Nocturne would be a challenge of staying in the race as long as possible without getting pulled out by the commissaire. It did not help that I ended up quite far back on the start line, and then to compound matters, we were told that there would no longer be a neutral lap! Not long into the race, I found myself working with teammate Hannah G. The crowd and atmosphere certainly did not disappoint. Unfortunately we were pulled out of the race by the commissaire, which was annoying as later they appeared to have given up pulling riders out. Nevertheless I enjoyed the race despite not feeling 100%. Liv AWOL teammate Rosie showed us all how it was done, zooming round the corners to finish in a fantastic 29th place!
On the 14th June, I decided to do a midweek local time trial (TT). This was a 10 mile time trial over local country roads which consisted of an out and back course. Previously my PB on this course was just over 27 minutes which I had set a month or two ago. On the night it happened to be a cross wind for the majority of the course. Once I reached the turn I felt well capable of a PB. As I was approaching the finish I glanced down at my Garmin to be surprised that It would be extremely close to 25 minutes. I finished very pleased with a new personal best time of 24.58.
Back to crit racing in the middle of the following week for the Ilkley town centre criterium. I found myself working in a group of 5 around the course, which included a short steep hill, but was often dropping back on the descent as I struggled to keep my speed up around the sharp corner at the foot of the hill. Cornering is certainly a technique I need to work on. The Yorkshire crit races continued in the next week, with the Otley crit as part of the Women’s National Series, and riding with Liv AWOL teammate Connie. The National Series saw some typical Yorkshire weather, as it poured down for the entire race! Connie and I finished respectively in a group of about 5.
In the second weekend in July I travelled down to Bourne for a weekend of racing. On the Saturday it was the team time trial, this consisted of a circuit of 16 miles with Hannah G, Connie, Savannah and I (Hannah B) racing. Unfortunately Savannah had to drop out mid race due to her injury pain being triggered. Despite this, it was great to have her back racing. We all worked really well together against some top teams.
The next day was the 50 mile junior women’s road race. This was only my 3rd road race and the first one that I did not puncture or fall off. On the 3rd lap I was very close to getting dropped by the lead group, however Rosie and I worked well together to get both of us back in the bunch. Approaching the uphill finish my legs were really struggling so I ended up finishing towards the back of the lead bunch. This race gave me a lot of confidence that I was capable of keeping up with the best for the National Road Race the following week.
Next week was another trip down south, this time to Wallingford near Oxford for the National Junior Road Race Championships. The race was on a hilly circuit of 54 miles. Riders were constantly getting dropped off the back each lap so I was pleased that I was still in the lead bunch. On the second to last lap the pace increased and my aim was to stay in the bunch yet when approaching the final 5 miles I found myself working my way up the bunch knowing I still had a little left for the sprint. When arriving into Wallingford town centre the atmosphere was so incredible. In the sprint I found myself slightly boxed in. However I was so pleased to have come away with 20th place in a National Championships.
National Circuit Championships was next up. I loved the atmosphere of racing around Sheffield city centre. Connie and I found ourselves in a group of some very talented riders so we were both very pleased to be keeping up with them. The circuit was challenging, yet interesting with a cobbled climb and lots of tight corners.
And this was then followed by a very local race, the Scarborough Cycling Festival. Read all about the teams efforts in this post, The Dave Rayner Fund-White Rose Youth League – Scarborough Cycling Festival 2017.