Wet and windy. It seems to be the curse, yet inevitably, of the Winter Series. After nearly getting blown into the traffic en route to the circuit, it was apparent this weekend would be no different.
In the women's race, the Cat 4's are let off half a lap before the E123's. Whilst waiting on the start line, freezing, every second felt like an hour waiting to see them ride back around which would be our signal to go. Then, the chase was on.
With only a 40 minute race, you don't have any time to lose. After the first few laps, we were not gaining any time. I organised the squad into a military through and off and for a few laps we became one mega mix of a team. The Cat 4's began to get closer and with our newly found momentum, we finally caught them. A group of us went over the top and continued the high pace in an attempt to drop as many as possible. The remaining 20 minutes were a mixture of attacks (mostly from Claire, an incredibly talented Cat 1 racer who has an inspiring amount of power) and a small group of us taking turns to chase each one down. It was great to be riding next to Jenny Andrews from Cycle Club Ashwell again. We'd raced together last season and she is aggressive, assertive and fun to be in the peloton with.
The 3 laps to go board was raised and the group was now broken up. With the verocious wind and the knowledge that I was amidst a big group of sprinters, I kept my positioning to near the front. On the final lap, myself, Claire and Jenny were on the front waiting for someone to make the move. Claire seemed to take the first bite into the wind with a few of us jumping on her wheel. It was a battle between five of us to the finish line, which in such conditions felt like it took about 5 years.
I managed to bike throw to third. Congrats to Honor on the win.
Amazing to see 19 women on the start line and great to be part of a race which felt exciting and aggresive. One week closer to summer cider celebrations rather than post ride colds and sniffles.