I train to race. Part Two.

If you didn’t read my previous blog, I’d just had an awesome time on a ‘training holiday’ in Majorca after a tough start to 2018.

I returned home at a pretty perfect time; just after the chaotic ‘Beast from the East’ weather event had hit the UK. Brits seem to be known to talk about the weather, and with us being in a temperate climate, you can imagine the shutdown the country went into when the temperatures dropped below 0 degrees and some fluffy white stuff fell from the sky!!

My friends and family were pretty jealous of my Spanish tan, and it didn’t fade much as I returned to great weather in Norfolk; sunny and fairly warm, so yeah, pretty good timing!

I was soon into my training routine back at home and focusing on some exciting upcoming races. I had been working with my new coach since the beginning of March just before heading out to Majorca. We were still getting to know how each other work but I could tell from the first few conversations that we’d get on well; and he’s still coaching me a year later so all must be good!
He used to be a pro rider himself so has lots of experience as well as more formal knowledge involving numbers, and I have always had an interest in the numbers and analysis. In fact, I think if I wasn’t cycling I’d probably be involved in sports science and human anatomy subjects.

I can call Dan whenever I like and he’s always got time for me. I think It’s great to have this kind of rider/coach relationship where we’re both open and respect each other. 
I’ve always been one to ask many questions, and Dan will definitely agree here! But I like to know why I’m doing something, what, how, when etc so I can commit and am on board with the plan; mainly in my training but also in life generally.

So next up on the calendar was actually my first ever Elite UCI race: The Tour de Yorkshire. I don’t really like the ‘it was a great experience’ phrase because I kind of feel like I didn’t achieve much and was just a passenger, but for this race- and I’m sure more to come in the future as I’m now a first year Elite rider- this seemed an appropriate phrase to use. I expected more of myself, but with it being my first road race of the year (in May) I think I went in at the deep end to be riding my first Elite UCI race as an early 19 year old with World Tour riders and champions! 

Yorkshire put on a brilliant show in ‘God’s own country’, the home crowds were sometimes 6 rows deep and my no.1 supporter-Dad-was cheering amongst the buzzing atmosphere too! 

For the first time I felt what it was like to be in the middle of a World class peloton; initially a little intimidating but that soon fizzled out and you just get on with racing the other bike riders around you. In front, behind, left and right. I dislike being in the middle of the peloton, so where possible I try to keep to the edge and near the front. Yes it does take more energy, as one’s pushing the wind more, but it’s a decision I make on the road. 

Overall my results were nothing to write home about, however, ‘it was a great experience’.

Next up was the first round of the British Elite National series beginning at the well-known Lincoln GP. This was good to get my race legs going again, and a result (6th) which I knew I could improve upon in rounds to come.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this. My next blog will talk about getting myself out to Germany to race a MTB World Cup, almost getting the win at the next British road race round and winning my first  National Elite Women’s MTB race.

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