I thought I’d finished racing for this year but a last minute change of plan and I couldn’t resist the temptation of just one more on Sunday. Problem is I’ve hardly ridden my bike these last few weeks and I ended up with a 3 day hangover after a couple of Christmas parties last week. Yep super prepared for this one.

According to my maths, this was my 10th time on a cross bike and 4th cyclocross race so by now I ‘should’ know the routine!? Hahaha. Nope, it was probably the most laid back/disorganised I’ve ever been at a race. I forgot my tights and my race licence and almost forgot to eat!?

No mishaps or falls during the sighting lap though and the worlds highest boards aside this was a decent course. There were a couple of open sections which I knew with strong winds wouldn’t be much fun on my own. I need to be a hell of a lot faster to stick with the front girls and be in any hope of some shelter!

As usual I was on the back row at the start and where as in other races I’ve managed to sneak up a bit, this was too narrow and bottle necked really quickly so impossible to squeeze through, so for half of the first lap I had to settle with a pace a bit slower than I felt I wanted to go.

As soon as we got onto a straight section I went up a gear and moved away from the group I was in. By this point of course the fast ladies were gone but I was determined to hold off those behind me and chuffed to bits after a bit of cat and mouse when I finally pulled away from the last few.

With these races it’s really hard to measure how you are progressing as the courses are all so different and the ladies change but there were a few women’s team kits out there today inc. Hannah Payton of Trek-Drops, so it felt like a really strong field. I’d love to say its all the youngsters that are fast but the vets ladies are equally rapid!!!

My goal this season was simply to have fun and learn the ropes which is exactly what I’ve done, but even after my first race I started to set other goals… firstly not to get caught by the leaders! I managed it last race and again here which meant a full 45 mins of racing, on my own of course, cue a bit of banter with the crowds. Maybe I should pedal harder and smile less!?  I finished ahead of a couple of ladies who have previously beaten me so I’m taking that as a decent outing. Not a top 10 this time but I finished beaming from ear to ear, way more important than placing I reckon.

I really hope to pick up cx again next season because I’ve enjoyed it so much. Of course I want to go faster and who knows with a bit more specific training maybe my body will deliver. Firstly I need to work on making it look as easy as the fast ladies do.

Thanks to cyclocross for brightening up my year and for introducing me to some amazing people. That’s you Michelle 🙂

I promise that’s definitely it for 2018! All that’s left for me to do now is write my end of season review but I’ll probably save that for the 22+ hour flight to Oz.

Hope you have a wonderful festive period and some well deserved down time with your families.

Much love,

Duathlon girl X