Woaw! A Big Deal for Eileen Roe as she seals her first win of 2016 in Round One of the Matrix Fitness GP in Scotland, wining a four-way sprint up-to the finish-line for Lares.
Round one of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix took place in Motherwell this year. One of six-in-the-series, saw former National Circuit Champion and Scottish local Eileen Roe take the victory in a four-way sprint up-to the finish-line to the cheers of a home crowd.
Now riding for Belgium outfit Lares-Waowdeal on the continent, Eileen had wanted to returned home, feeling a little lonely after a nine-week stint in Europe. Being the only fluent English speaking girl on the squad, rode the first Women’s Lincoln Grand Prix on the weekend before finishing tenth, behind winner Alice Barnes, Drops Cycling Team, and Nikki Juniper, Team Ford Ecoboost who came in seventh.
It was Barnes that initiated the first move in Motherwell after Aprire-HSS Hire, Team WNT and Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa drove the peloton for a couple of laps of the relatively square one-point-two-kilometre-circuit that finished with a long drag from the bottom final corner.
Juniper had counter-attacked and Roe knew which girls she had to look out for. She had seen how well Barnes rode to victory at Lincoln, and decided to go with group, with Annasley Park, Team Breeze joining them as the peloton strung apart, they soon built up a fifteen second lead.
The race was run over forty-five minutes with five final count-down laps to the finish line.
With two laps to go there was a pile up which unfortunately took out Mel Lowther who was later taken to hospital to be checked over.
The four leading riders increased to a twenty-five second gap on the chasing group as they started passing back-markers. An aggressive ride by Barnes also saw her claiming the two sprints and the jersey along the way.
It looked at one point like the main peloton would reel-them-in with Podium Ambitions Gabby Shaw and Lauren Creamer chasing hard, and Jo Tindley and Lydia Boylan, Team WNT taking over, but the impetus went off and the four extended their lead.
With the final laps quickly approaching, the girls started looking across at each-others moves, trying to anticipate who would be their biggest rival.
As the final one-hundred meters marker pasted, it was Eileen that kicked the hardest to win the second visit to the Motherwell round on the Matrix Fitness GP.
Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc catches up with the delightful Eileen Roe after her solo effort at round two of the Matrix Fitness GP in Motherwell.
Talking to Eileen after the race she had said, “There was a rider represented from each team” in their group, and she though if they worked together, they would say away to the end”.
“I guess that they weren’t bothered about myself because the Tour Series is all about the “team” this year. So I think they were happy to have me along with them and contributing to the work”.
She went on to say that she wouldn’t be contesting any more of the Matrix Series as she returning back to her own team duties shortly before starting a big block of European racing on the continent. Firstly a big 1.1 UCI event in Belgium, the Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik on May 29th, from then-on it continues every week, she went on to say.
This is Eileen’s first win of the season, finishing third in the recent Dwars door Vlaanderen.
Team Classification & Overall after Round One
Rank Team Points
1 Drops Cycling Team 98
2 Team Breeze 79
3 Team Ford Ecoboost 78
4 Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa 70
5 Team WNT 52
6 Aprire HSS Hire 25
7 Velo Schils – Interbike RT 23
8 Sunsport Velo 21
1 100 Alice Barnes Drops Cycling Team 5
2 147 Annasley Park Team Breeze 4
3 256 Eileen Roe Lares Waowdeals 3
4 180 Nikki Juniper Team Ford Ecoboost 2
5 27 Jo Tindley Team WNT 1
1 100 Alice Barnes Drops Cycling Team 5
2 256 Eileen Roe Lares Waowdeals 4
3 147 Annasley Park Team Breeze 3
4 180 Nikki Juniper Team Ford Ecoboost 2
5 27 Jo Tindley Team WNT 1
Sprints Classification & Overall after Round One
1 100 Alice Barnes Drops Cycling Team 10
2 256 Eileen Roe Lares Waowdeals 7
3 147 Annasley Park Team Breeze 7
4 180 Nikki Juniper Team Ford Ecoboost 4
5 27 Jo Tindley Team WNT 2
Individual Round Classification
Rank – Bib – Name – Team – Race Time – Laps Completed – Points
1 256 Eileen Roe Lares Waowdeals 0:46:02.227 24 40
2 100 Alice Barnes Drops Cycling Team 0:46:02.404 24 38
3 180 Nikki Juniper Team Ford Ecoboost 0:46:02.803 24 36
4 147 Annasley Park Team Breeze 0:46:02.817 24 34
5 102 Ellie Dickinson Drops Cycling Team 0:46:10.183 24 32
6 20 Lydia Boylan Team WNT 0:46:10.751 24 30
7 142 Hayley Jones Team Breeze 0:46:11.007 24 29
8 109 Annie Simpson Drops Cycling Team 0:46:11.495 24 28
9 2 Lauren Creamer Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa0:46:12.406 24 27
10 11 Gabriella Shaw Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa0:46:12.605 24 26
11 65 Louise Laker Aprire HSS Hire 0:46:12.661 24 25
12 182 Charlotte Broughton Team Ford Ecoboost 0:46:13.067 24 24
13 120 Lou Collins Velo Schils – Interbike RT 0:46:13.164 24 23
14 27 Jo Tindley Team WNT 0:46:15.979 24 22
15 205 Alice Sharpe Sunsport Velo 0:40:18.392 24 21
16 243 Neah Evans Scotland Cycling Team 0:46:53.406 24 20
17 110 Abi Van Twisk Drops Cycling Team 0:46:59.443 24 19
18 183 Henrietta Colborne Team Ford Ecoboost 0:47:00.483 24 18
19 4 Amy Gornall Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa0:47:00.952 24 17
20 143 Emily Kay Team Breeze 0:47:14.119 24 16
21 3 Grace Garner Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa0:48:09.436 24 15
22 187 Charline Joiner Team Ford Ecoboost 0:45:43.561 23 14
23 28 Hannah Walker Team WNT 0:45:43.972 23 13
24 160 Madison Campbell Team Footon Velosport 0:45:44.071 23 12
25 106 Rose Osbourne Drops Cycling Team 0:45:46.540 23 11
26 47 Jenny Holl Team Jadan-Weldtite 0:45:49.554 23 10
27 85 Kelly Murphy Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club0:45:57.220 23 9
28 163 Suzetta Guerrini Team Footon Velosport 0:46:13.646 23 8
29 68 Gemma Sargent Aprire HSS Hire 0:40:13.426 20 7
30 203 Josie Knight Sunsport Velo 0:40:14.430 20 6
31 184 Julie Erskine Team Ford Ecoboost 0:40:15.218 20 5
32 61 Lucy Chittenden Aprire HSS Hire 0:40:16.366 20 4
33 208 Genevieve Whitson Sunsport Velo 0:40:16.870 20 3
34 206 Maddy Scott Sunsport Velo 0:40:17.026 20 2
35 84 Nikola Matthews Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club0:40:18.558 20 1
36 82 Monica Dew Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club0:40:18.574 20
37 246 Tanya Griffths Starley Racing 0:40:30.932 20
38 126 Nicola Soden Velo Schils – Interbike RT 0:41:02.256 20
39 41 Sarah Bradford Team Jadan-Weldtite 0:41:15.743 20
40 21 Sam Burman Team WNT 0:41:23.097 20
41 44 Rhona Callander Team Jadan-Weldtite 0:41:23.302 20
42 200 Eileen Burns Sunsport Velo 0:41:32.233 20
43 124 Sandra MacKay Velo Schils – Interbike RT 0:39:56.977 19
44 123 Katherine Kimber Velo Schils – Interbike RT 0:40:32.075 19
45 121 Caroline Guest Velo Schils – Interbike RT 0:41:12.207 19
46 80 Ellie Coster Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club0:39:46.289 18
47 83 Kristy Howells Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club0:40:41.746 17
146 Melissa Lowther Team Breeze
25 Keira McVitty Team WNT
9 Katie Prankerd Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa
All images ©chrismaher.co.uk
Round Two of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series
Round two of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series returned to the Stockton Cycling Festival for the forth year.
Part of a whole weekend of cycling activities, The Elite Circuit Race starts on the Friday Evening around the High Street in Stockton-On-Tees. The Saturday has a number of Sportive Rides that suit most abilities. On Sunday, The Sky Ride runs in conjunction with the Elite Road Series Velo29-Altura Grand Prix. The Grand Prix Series is the second half of the British Cycling calendar, and the Velo29 Altura Stockton Grand Prix resumes the racing season after the National Championships.
Round one of the Elite Circuit Series was held in Otley prior to the Le Tour Yorkshire Grand Depart. Combining a Women’s Event that was won by local girl Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans), Several Youth & Novice Races, and finishing the evening with Round One of the Elite Circuit Race Series that Adam Blythe (NFTO Pro Cycling) won. Over 10000 spectators lined the course in a carnival atmosphere, and Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme and Tour de France Legend Bernard Hinault watched the nights racing.
In-between the first two rounds of the Circuit Series, the National Circuit Championships were held in Hull, mid-week. Adam Blythe (NFTO Pro Cycling) went on to win the National Jersey, whilst Eileen Roe (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) took the Women’s Jersey.
Adam Blythe wasn’t down to ride the race tonight, nor second place man Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor JLT) but last years winner here in Stockton, George Atkins (Team Raleigh) is looking to defend his win.
George Atkins out sprints Scott Thwaites (NetApp Endura) to secure his second win in a row here in Stockton. Winning by a bikes length, the evening had started off with a delay from the previous race.
Team Raleigh were the dominant force, but that didn’t stop the other riders from trying to make a break.
The course had been modified from the previous race, cut short, but additional laps were added.
With early breaks from Alex Blain (Team Raleigh) Matt Cronshaw (Velosure Giordana), Dean Downing (NFTO Pro Cycling) and David Lines (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) nothing seem to stick.
Ian Wilkinson, Matthew Boulo and Alex Blains (Team Raleigh) all had a go on the front, but in the later stages, it was Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) that seemed to get the furthest ahead.
As the final few laps were approaching, the leading group were lapping the back riders, and in the final few corners towards the finish line, Hadley took a longer route around these stragglers to come in forth for the sprint. Dean Downing who rode a solid race throughout lead the group in for third position. Whilst the first local rider was Alex Bottomley (Wheelbase Altura) who came in further down on the night.
- George AtkinsTeam Raleigh
- Scott ThwaitesNetApp Endura
- Dean DowningNFTO Pro Cycling
- Richard HandleyRapha Condor JLT
- Alex BlainTeam Raleigh
- David LinesStarley Primal Pro Cycling
- Matt CronshawVelosure Giordana
- Alex PatonPedal Heaven Colbornes RT
- Gruffudd LewisPedal Heaven Colbornes RT
- Matthieu BouloTeam Raleigh
Standings TBC after round two.
Stockton Velo29-Altura Town Centre Races
Colne Grand Prix
Beverley Grand Prix
Sheffield Grand Prix
Wales Open Criterium
British Cycling Elite Circuit Series Home Page
My photos are regularly updated on https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Classic Cycling Race Routes
The Toughest 52 European Challenges
by Chris Sidwells
Reviewed by Nick Dey
Published: 15th October 2013
AA Publishing in association with Garmin
An inspiring book to read and then to ride… if you dare!
This inspiring hardback book presents a selection of the most challenging and rewarding routes for road and racing cyclists. From the South Downs Epic and Tour of the Peak in the UK, to Paris-Roubaix in France and Tour of Flanders in Belgium, from Gruyere Cycling Tour in Switzerland and Tour of Lombardy in Italy to the San Sebastian Classic in Spain, this book is the ultimate motivation for cyclists who want to push themselves to the next level.
The fifty-two classic European cycling routes – one ride for each week of the year – selected to appear in this weighty A4 hard backed tome of well over two-hundred pages cater for the aspiring and experienced cyclist as well as those more romantically inclined, inspired as they are by the epic routes raced by the legends of the sport.
Experience an example… The Retro Ronde.The routes have derived their inspiration from the many professional races as well as the ever growing mass-participation events, the cyclosportives. Indeed the twenty-four routes that cover the UK and Ireland are exclusively ‘sportive in scope. I’m ashamed to report that I have ridden only one … but can vouch for the books accuracy; I was indeed Flat Out in the Fens! Several of the European events feature in the World Cycling Tour: an age group series in which participants have the chance to qualify for and compete in an age-group final. You, yes you, could become a World Champion!
Route 34, pp148-150, covers the outstanding Retro Ronde*
I rode this in 2013 and am happy to state without hyperbole that it is my absolute favourite cycling experience, second to none – full review coming soon to Cycling Shorts (Ed. I promise!)
Here I am… climbing ‘The Wall’ Retro Ronde 2013
In the book the route distance is correctly stated as 100 km (I managed 112 km but did get myself lost taking in a few extra Heligen!) but the total climbing was very different to my experience. The book states 525 m however I managed 1200 m. To be fair to the author the organisers fine tune their route each year – and I did do the extra cobbled climbs! All the other information is accurate and succeeds in conveying the flavour of the experience. For experience the Retro Ronde certainly is! I shall be back every year – or as long as the old bike, and even older legs will allow. If you do plan on riding try to make a long weekend of it. The ‘Crit’, ahem, racing on the Saturday is wholly authentic yet rather tongue in cheek, and well worth the entry fee of €5!
Posing for the official photo at the start… the atmosphere was the best I have experienced.
So how does this fine book present the information?
The book in a nutshell …
- 52 European cyclosportive and Grand Tour routes
- Full-colour route maps with directions and elevation profiles
- Advice on ride strategies and techniques
- Tips on training, appropriate clothing, nutrition and fitness
- All routes are available to download for your GPS cycling computer
- Routes cover the UK & Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.
The author suggests the reader takes two possible approaches, both of which allow them to make full use of the route information. The first, and Sidwells strongly suggests this as the most preferable avenue, is to take part in the official event for each route (if there is one) as, and I can only concur with him in this respect, …
“…the atmosphere and camaraderie of these events, where thousands of like-minded souls take part, all enjoying doing something they love, is incredible.”
Additionally, there is also more than enough information within the book to allow you to ride each route, or your own variation of it, independently of the official event and at any time of year. Words to the wise… check before you leave that roads are open!
Each route is clearly described and supported with often fascinating background information along with tantalising titbits of history; and who amongst us hasn’t unleashed the inner child and ridden a classic imagining the spectres of the greats; Coppi, Bobbet, Garin, et al, riding alongside?
There are maps and directions for each route, including profiles that clearly indicate where each hill is located along with rather useful yet often unsettling detail on how long and steep they are! The ever useful height gain is also presented.
In the words of the author, Chris Sidwells, “Enjoy the book, use it for planning and setting objectives, but above all get out and ride these routes. They represent some of the finest cycling experiences you could ever have.”
Classic Cycling Routes in a little more detail …
The introduction is extensive and covers three very important pre-ride requisites: Basic equipment – your bike, creating a training plan, and challenge-ride nutrition. There is a lot of very useful information here ranging from how to best use a GPS device (by Garmin) to the basics of creating a training plan.
The two-hundred pages devoted to the fifty two Race Routes traverse Europe through seven countries but with the majority set in the UK and Ireland.
The UK & Ireland section contains twenty-four routes, as listed below:
The Fred Whitton Challenge
The Ryedale Rumble
Etape du Dales
The Cheshire Cat
Tour of the Peak
The Shropshire Mynd
Flat Out in the Fens
Hell of the North Cotswolds
The Ups and Downs
The New Forest Epic
The South Downs Epic
The Tour of Wessex
The Exmoor Beast
The Dartmore Classic
The Dragon Ride
The Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive
Tour of Sligo
Malin to Mizen
Megève Mont Blanc
Cinglés du Ventoux
Etape du Tour 2010
Tour of Flanders
Grand Fondo Eddy Merckx
The Amstell Gold Race
Gruyére Cycling Tour
Alpenbrevet Platinum Tour
Tour of Lombardy
A Stage of the Tour of Italy
La Leggendaria Charly Gaul
Maratona dles Dolomites
La Pinarello Cycling Marathon
San Sebastian Classic
Val d’Aran Cycling Tour
A Stage of the Vuelta
La Pico del Veleta
Don’t forget… all routes in this book can be downloaded to your Garmin (the Edge 800 in my case) from the AA website.
As the book itself says, ‘the classic race routes selected here are not for the faint-hearted. Based on the best cyclosportive events in Europe and on stages of Grand Tours, they are much more than just pretty rides in the country. The fifty-two routes are serious mental and physical challenges (in the case of the Retro Ronde… the liver is called upon to do its bit too!) that require training and preparation. Yet each is accessible and achieved by many thousands of amateur cyclists each year.
Classic Cycling Race Routes allows you to cycle these rides at any time, either as preparation for the race events, or for the sheer joy and exhilaration of the challenge. For those rides that don’t have a dedicated cyclosportive route, the author has designed a ride a ride to reflect the demands and history of the race.
Each route contains a map with directions and an elevations and an elevation profile, and Chris Sidwells provides an overview combining ride strategy and techniques with the history of the race.
Practical and aspirational, Classic Cycling Race Routes will inspire a new generation of cyclists to push themselves to the extreme. You never know, the next Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish or Sir Bradley Wiggins may well be among them!
One for the rider as well as the reader + GPS routes = 100% Awarded our Star Buy Rating!
Reviewed by: Nichiless ‘Nicky’ Dey.
About the author
Chris Sidwells is an internationally-respected British cycling journalist and author, with nine books on cycling, ranging from biography through fitness and training to bike repair. His Complete Bike Book has been translated into twenty-four languages, and his Bike Repair Manual is about to reach its fifth edition. Tour Climbs and Race for Madmen were best sellers in their genre. His ‘The Official Tour de France Records’ has the backing of Le Tour Itself. Most recently he has published The Long Race for Glory: How the British Came to Rule the Cycling World… the next book to be reviewed on Cycling Shorts. Chris’s words and photographs have graced the pages of Britain’s best-selling cycling magazine Cycling Weekly (indeed he seems to appear in every issue,) and in all issues of Cycle Sport and Cycling Active, along with Cycling Fitness. He has also been published in Men’s Fitness, Cycling Plus, GQ, Running Fitness and the Sunday Times. Phew!
Union City criterium - Image ©Copyright Beck Cycling
After a tough world cup in Beijing where I got quite sick, I took some time off to balance the options for the 2012 season. It became clear I wanted to be in races that best suit me; criteriums and fast races. I got in touch with Emile Abraham who runs one of the best amateur teams in the USA; Rossetti Devo Cycling Team.
Emile is himself an excellent rider, he’s put together a strong core of cyclist from six different nations;
Emile Abraham – Trinidad
Gevan Samuel – Trinidad
Daniel Asconeguy – Uruguay
Ricardo Giraldo Sierra – Colombia
Jean-Michel Lachance – Canada
Benjamin Bryant – USA
Franco – Puerto Rico
The calendar is still in the oven, but promised to be filled with some of the best races around USA, Canada, Trinidad, Puerto Rico and other countries.
Our sponsors includes Rossetti bikes which are simply amazing, the best bike shop in Atlanta Outback bikes, EDA construction, SauceBox cyclewear and a few others.
For this venture, I drove a crazy 2250km in two days to finally arrive on wednesday 14th. The following day, was one of those days… building the bike, adjusting the position and finally a short ride which ended up being a long four hours. The next weekend, we had two races on the program. I was a bit anxious about my fitness with a few weeks completely off trainning and a good three and half month off the road. Speaking about winter trainning, it was pretty much the first time in four years, I spent the whole winter in Quebec city. Preparing for a road season in the cold is never easy and it takes a lot of motivation to train at high intensity on the trainer.
Anyhow, I took part in both races; a one hour crit on saturday and a seventy-one mile road race on sunday. To be honest, I was happily surprised with my form. My legs were still sore from the two previous rides in the days before. I tried to go away a few time in the crit and won one prime after the breakaway lapped us, I went on a gruelling 40km solo breakaway in the road race.
Next on the program is a race in Tampa, Florida.
Piacenza, Gippingen & Segovia
by Jody Cundy
Once I was back from Sydney, I had a few weeks of training to prepare for the next trip away, in which I would be racing 3 weekends back to back in Piacenza, Gippingen and Segovia. Training took a racing focus once I returned home, and I started to introduce some intensity in training, by adding a 10mile TT and crit race to my weekly sessions. This way, I could replicate the kind of riding I’d experienced in Sydney, and hopefully that would better prepare me for future road races.
Piacenza in Italy was the first stop of my little road trip and I was joined by Jon-Allan Butterworth to represent Para-T at the P1 event, the team’s first road race.
First up was a 58km 26lap crit around the town of Castel San Giovanni, and from the off, it was a fast race. With C4s and C5s racing at the same time, the attacks were going right from the first pedal stroke. Having learnt my lessons from Sydney, I tried to stay near the front of the race, and although a few went off the front I managed to stay in quite a select group of strong riders. I was feeling pretty good even though I was on my limit, but then, with a few mistimed accelerations and an increase in pace on the front the group started to get away. With a few laps on my own I was joined by a few riders who had been dropped earlier on and I worked with those guys until the end of the race. There was some confusion on the final lap of the race as the lead riders who’d broke away passed us on the start finish straight, effectively ending the race without our group sprinting for position, unfortunately I was pipped on the line and finished 7th. However, I was feeling good about my form and looking forward to the pan flat short 11km time trial the following the day. I managed to post a 14:26 which was good enough for 5th place and just 45seconds outside the winner Jiri Jezek. With my 5th place in the TT I managed to move up to 6th overall and score a few more valuable points for London.
Jody on the road - Image ©Copyright Christian Kelkel
After Piacenza it was a 6hr road transfer to the Black Forest where we were going to be based for the Gippingen P1 event. Although the race was in Switzerland, we based ourselves in Germany just across the border, as the roads to cycle on were perfect, offering 5 days of beautiful rides and some good rolling terrain. Gippingen started with a 16.2km TT around a hilly 8.1km loop. The first half of the loop went uphill, the middle was flat and then it went downhill to the finish. With the first lap done, I was feeling good about how things were going, and then my minuteman caught me at the foot of the climb for the 2nd lap. I wasn’t too fazed by this as he’d finished 2nd in the last 2 time trials I’d raced, so I knew he was strong. But going up the hill for the 2nd time, I lost all my momentum and it wasn’t until the flat section that I could find my rhythm again, by then the damage was done. I came across the line in 23.20, not a bad time but only good enough for 10th place.
The road race the following day was a tough affair and to be honest, I didn’t feature in the race at all. It was one of those days where my head and legs really didn’t want to do the same thing, and as we went up the 2nd part of the stepped 178m climb for the first time the race just rode away from me as I struggled to keep up, my legs really weren’t working well! I think 6 races in 13days might have been 1 too many for me, but I kept on and used the rest of the race as a training ride for the World Cup. I crossed the line in a lowly 17th place, one from last.
Segovia World Cup round 2
Jody - Image ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
After the event in Gippingen I left my Para-T team to join the GB setup as we headed to Segovia.
The first 2 days of training we were greeted by torrential rain, but as the racing approached the weather picked up. First race up was the TT, a 21km race on a flat loop around the town of Valverde del Majano. It was going to be a quick race and I was hoping that the few easy days I’d had on the bike after the P1 events had been kind on my legs. Rolling down the start ramp and through the technical exit out of the town I quickly settled into a smooth fast rhythm and was relieved that my legs were feeling like mine again! With the long straight open roads the wind was going to play a big factor in the race, but with no real tailwind sections to speak of it was a tough ride. About half way through the 21km’s I had a bit of a disaster as my back went into spasm, and I could no longer maintain my aero position down on my ski’s of my TT bike, for the next 2minuntes or so I was struggling to hold my position while trying to release my back, all the time I could feel the seconds slipping away. Thankfully the pain and spasm subsided and I could get back to tiding the bike at speed. The last section of the race was the fastest as it made its way downhill into the town. I crossed the line in 28:06, not a bad time, but only good enough for 9thplace, at least it was a few more points in the bag.
￼The road race was 4 laps of a pretty boring 18.1km loop with the only interesting points being a small section on cobbles and a gentle rise after the start finish line for approx 2km. With the course being so flat I was feeling confident about my chances in the race, all I needed to do was stay upright and in the bunch. However with strong crosswinds on at least 12km of the course, positioning was going to be all important. As we raced through the first lap I was feeling good, my legs were feeling pretty good. Crossing the finish line the speed of the peloton increased as we went up the 2km rise, and with the 33°C heat searing down
I start I found myself struggling at the back of the bunch. Over the top of the rise I was about 50m off the back. Turning into the crosswind I put in a massive effort to get back on, eventually all the attacks failed to break clear, the bunch slowed enough for me to join again, however it wasn’t long until the attacks started again, and after the effort earlier I was spent, and watched the bunch drift off into the distance. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one, and after a few minutes of chasing the bunch it was clear that my chances of a bunch sprint had gone, but I was now joined by 3 other riders and we worked together to minimise the effects of the wind.
After doing our even share of working on the front, going into the last 3km I noticed there was a reluctance for anyone to come to the front. However as I knew the race was essentially over for me I was happy to lead into the last kilometre. Surprise surprise I was jumped by 2 of the riders I was with, I quickly accelerated onto their wheels, taking the last left hander I moved into 2nd, and waited to make my move, 250m to go and I got out of the saddle and applied my track speed and powered by. In the end I finished 50m clear of the riders I was with, if only I could have stayed in the peloton as I had the speed for the victory, especially as the race ended in a bunch sprint, instead I crossed the line in 14th, outside the important points.
With the Segovia World Cup done, I headed to Glasgow to do four stages in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain before getting back to my normal training programme and daily routine. Almost a little boring after all the travelling and racing this month, but it’s good to not live out of a bag or move hotel every week. Also it’s probably not for long, as there is more racing and exciting things to come.
Catch you soon,
All images ©Copyright Christina Kelkel