On Saturday Martyn and I travelled down to Wheal Maid Valley, Redruth, Cornwall so I could compete in my first Nationals of the season.
After a five hour drive we made it to Cornwall and decided to take a trip to the beach to grab some lunch before heading to Redruth to ride the course.
Riding the course went well, there was some steep drops in the A routes (more direct line) of the course, but I felt confident that I could ride most of them. I had a fall on a steep uphill which dented my confidence a bit but I felt ready for the next day and had decided on which A and B routes I would take on race day. After riding the course we headed back to the hotel for an early night.
The next day was an early start as the race started at 9.30 and I wanted to have a good warm up.
I felt strong going into the race and after the first lap was only 11 seconds behind Fiona Innes (Royal Air Force CC).
The course was technical and pushed my comfort zone. I was using the A routes to my advantage and catching up with Fiona, then a small lapse in concentration sent me over my handle bars on a fast flat bit, ending up with my face down bumping along the gravel. The marshall got me up and I sat down while she looked at my foot, which hadn’t released from my pedal, but it was fine. I decided I could still race and new I only had to ride one and a half laps to get my points even if it meant giving up first place.
I got back on and although my left side was sore and my knee rather cut I carried on. It wasn’t until I got down the next part of the course and over the lake that I went to change down gear to find my gear lever had snapped off, which meant I had to carry on the race in the middle cog on the front. This made it hard work, but I eventually had nearly completed my second lap when yet again more bad news, I rode round a corner into a wooded section and the bike slid from under me, I knew that feeling flat tyre! By this time I felt my race was over, having already dropped to third. I felt so frustrated about coming all this way and only having a lap to go. It was then that another rider rode past and thankfully gave me her “Ultra Instant Bike Tire Inflator Sealer”, which was an amazing relief I was able to pump up my tyre with the foam and get on with my race, so thank you so much for that!
I managed to gingerly finish my third lap and in the process actually regained my second place standing which I was delighted about, only to hit a steep uphill and not be able to fight off the competition due to a lack of gears! I gave it everything I had but in the end decided that third place and finishing was better than nothing. I ended the race running as my tyre went down for a second time. Completing my three laps in 1 hour 25 mins.
After this race I am now sitting in third position in the sport category overall. Not bad for my first season.