Well I couldn’t believe the difference between this year’s Bedford and the last time I did it in 2008. I rode with Stef’s team last time as well in Swift Racing. Back then the competition wasn’t at a very high standard and the racing was quite negative. Well this couldn’t have been more different! There were a few good teams this year and the race could of gone anyway which made for a much more interesting race.
Our team had a bit of bad luck before we even got there as our sprinter Richy was still injured and our race maker Simo had been ill. Luckily the legend herself Helen Wyman stepped in and we started with 5. Team time trial would start off the 2 day and we’d practicing in Limoux during our training camp. Although we had no real ‘tester’ in our team we put down a pretty strong, smooth performance starting us off in 4th place and only 15 seconds down.
The first stage was an 80km road stage and we had a good aggressive race and the racing was at a nice high pace. All the on the drops girls were riding strong and we had some good communication together. Coming towards the end of the stage it looked to be a sprint finish and we all communicated with each other and decided they’d lead me out. Unfortunately two girls got away in the last half a lap! We stuck to the plan and with a perfect lead out from Jessie and Hannah I finished second in the bunch sprint to Lucy Garner and 4th overall for the stage.
Going into the individual TT we were still 1 minute down as some riders had collected time bonuses in the road stage. We all had a good go at the TT and Helen had a great ride with an 8th. For the final road stage the rain poured down organizers reduced the race by 10km. It was a pretty challenging course with lot’s of climbing. Straight away in the race I realised I had no breaks what so ever so I went back to the team car Stef tried to fix them from the car. I chased back on worked my way back through the bunch but I was no better off so Ii went back to the car again and changed my wheel for an alloy training wheel which did the trick. Stef did a great job getting me back on but after over 2 laps out the race, by the time I got back on I was pretty fatigued I tried to recover for a few laps but I just had nothing left in me.
The rest of the girls had a real good race riding really positively and aggressively. It was a selective rave where not many were going to finish in the group but the girls were riding comfortably in the group. Overall Helen finished 8th which we were pretty happy with so onwards and upwards for the next race!!!