Since my last blog it’s been a pretty busy time for me. I have had the Kalas 2 day, National Road Race Championship, hard weeks training and then finally to Czech Republic for my first Women’s stage race of the year.
So, Kalas 2 day, well i’d like to say i enjoyed this but that would be a lie. Don’t get me wrong racing with the men is great, it was hard going and stuff like that always brings you on. But the weather, for Somerset was truly dreadful. I for all those that say its grim up north, well the south was definitely winning in grimness for that weekend. 3 stages in one day, in the rain, 2 of which were TT’s wasn’t really ideal, but we all came away from the weekend with tired legs from a good work out. Then it was time to get my legs up ready for the National Champs the weekend after. They were on my ‘home turf’ where i train all winter when I’m at uni in Newcastle. Everyone presumed this was a good thing, but i wasn’t really convinced, more like they just brought back bad memories of slogging my guts out through winter.
Using my local knowledge i attacked from the gun as per team orders. I managed to get 45 sec gap on the bunch, i held this for a while but naturally with the likes of Garmin in the race my solo break came to an end after approximately 10miles just as we hit the dreaded Ryal climb and unsurprisingly i was paying for my earlier efforts, so I settled into a chase group and finished to find out Dani had come 3rd in U23 champs which didn’t half put a smile on my face.
So then it was a week at home, where i was subjected to DS stef hardcore training week which meant i was either on the bike or on the sofa. But i can’t complain the weather was good, had a very good training partner and Sandie had made cake to fuel my rides. After a week of home comforts it was time to pack up the Micra again and head to Belgium, picking up team mates along the way. The journey was naturally eventful but what can you expect when travelling with the likes of Penny and Hannah. When we finally got into Belgium, my Sat Nav clearly thought it would be funny to send us off the motorway, cross country. Trying to overtake tractors in the Micra with zero acceleration, when you’re already on the wrong side of the road really was a team effort. But we survived the journey most fuelled by some questionable singing and haribo.
The next adventure started the next day as we were of to the Czech Republic for a 4 day tour A 10 hour drive stood in the way for us, but we were lucky to have a pimped out camper so some of us could travel in luxury and the rest of us had stu’s ipad so, after at least 100 games of Boogle and the odd one of Scrabble, we had it to our hotel in Czech-ski! Hotel was pretty dam good for a womens stage race and no complaints. Although the Czech’s really do love their meat and potato meals, we barely saw trace of pasta all week!! The racing was enjoyable, i enjoyed the variety of the roads there even though there was no flat, it was either up or down Riding with Hanka in our team was pretty cool, especially when she beasted the TT and got 1st for the team. She has got to be one of the nicest women in the pro peleton for sure. For me the race had highs and lows.
First stage was a defiante high, i finished in the front group in my first pro race which in comparison to last year was a huge step forward for me. But knee problems affected my other stages, and i made the decision on the 4th stage to leave the race early before I caused any long term damage. I am booked in to see a chiropractor on Thursday and waiting for that day is killing me, hopefully then we will find the source to all my issues and I’ve heard this guy is a genius. Fingers crossed he can fix me up in time to head to Thurigen in Germany with the team on Saturday ready for our next tour which is 7 days The legs were feeling good in Czech so hopefully minus the knee pain I can make a mark in Germany. I’ll keep you posted!