My first closed-circuit road race.
It has been one year since I bought my first road bike and I had so far fulfilled 2 out of my 4 main objectives:
1) Joined a club (Twickenham CC) – done.
2) Raced in a Hill Climb event – done.
3) Raced in a road race
4) Progress to Cat 3
I must admit I was a bit nervous during the morning before the race – mainly because of the pressure I was putting on myself. It was hard not to picture myself sprinting first over the finish line and gaining an immediate promotion to Cat 3, but having never even been to Hillingdon I really had no idea how it would all pan out.
I had a rough plan – stay in the top 10 and avoid trouble.
Once we rolled off the line, my nerves disappeared and I quickly got into the rhythm of the 1 mile circuit. I felt strong and so often unexpectedly found myself on the front but made no attempt to ride off solo. Unfortunately, I had no experience of how a circuit race would end. I was expecting a last-lap bell so when the sprint actually started I quickly lost position and had to come around the outside in the strong wind for a semi-respectable 12th place.
Final thoughts: Happy, energized but slightly frustrated by the finish.
Thanks to Lucy and the Imperial Cycles team for a very professional and smooth race.
Photo credit: British Cycle Sport