Actually my first race in 2014 should have been the Redhill 18 miles TT on the 16th of February but unfortunately that event had been cancelled due to ice on the roads. A pity as my training up to that point had been going quite well and I felt in a position of possibly having the rare chance of beating one my club mates on a sporting course. But such are the realities of early season TTs, it is a bit of a lucky dip with the weather and better safe than sorry.
Because I mostly want to focus on time trialling this year I am only doing a few races (both early and late season) and am all the more keen to make those races count.
Most people would probably call me mad for not just taking the train or car to this event at Preston Park (near Brighton) on the 22nd of February. But the sun was shining, my legs were feeling fine and I didn’t want to miss a chance for a nice training ride, so I cycled all the way there backpack and all, including a bit of a warm-up over the Ditchling Beacon.
The race was a 2/3/4W event organised by Apres Recovery and I knew at least two teams of six would be there. The circuit itself is pan flat and more of a trackie/sprinters’ affair. That said, plenty of recent wins on this circuit have resulted from breaks and even field lappers.
As I was the only girl from my club that day, my strategy was to try to escape early but ideally take the strongest girl from the most dominant team with me, knowing we could do a good 2-up TT and the rest of her team mates would control the bunch. It did indeed work to plan and surprisingly I managed to (just) hold her off for the final sprint.
A great way to start the season with a win. I will be back if only for that nice Apres Recovery Hot Chocolate! Many thanks also to great encouragement by the friendly Brighton Mitre faces 🙂
Here is a link to Huw Williams’ photos of a great sunny day of racing at Preston Park: http://www.flickr.com/photos/huwspics/sets/72157641374175225/