Last week I travelled to Tromso (Norway) in the Arctic Circle with Scottish cycling North East for an international bike race, incredible.
On the 10th of August the journey began at Aberdeen Airport at 4am…then to Amsterdam…then to Oslo and then finally we arrived in Tromso that evening. The team and I managed to get our bikes built and get out for an easy spin to loosen the legs off after the 3 flights!
Although the roads in Norway are not quite the flawlessly smooth jet black tarmac you would find in Spain the views were simply stunning. The snow dusted hills, glassy waters and unbelievable sunsets the place was utter bliss.
The following day we went for a course recon in the morning before going to a seminar with Thor Hushovd and carrying out our final preparations for race day on Sunday.
Fortunately the course really suited my strengths, a hill that was challenging enough to split up the field yet not quite something of a mountain pass followed by a fast technical descent and an agonising uphill drag to the finish. The junior female race would tackle this circuit 9 times (shortened from 10 due to tight schedule with the elite mens) Making the race roughly 40 miles.
Finally Race day,
As the pro’s race began just before the junior female’s we had plentiful crowds which was awesome!
The first half lap was neutralised however even though the race hasn’t officiallly started the neutral is just as nerve racking and chaotic as the sprint finish as everybody is trying to move up and get to the front.
Further as this was an international race there was no holding back from any riders and it was a total bunfight compared to the somewhat relaxed British races, luckily I managed to hold my place in the front even though I was one of the smallest riders in the field. This was heaps better than my first international race back in April
Read about my trip to Holland here — http://wp.me/p8CxLN-54
The race kicked off as soon as the flag was pulled into the lead car. With attacks everywhere and crashes causing splits.
6laps to go I attacked from a select group only to be caught the next lap then to be countered by my Scottish team mate Jenny Holl who was followed by 5 other riders. This would be the race winning attack.
I spent the remainder of the race closing down any desperate late escapees and disrupting the peloton chase. Unfortunately my other team mate suffered an unforuanate machanical and the other was further back in the race so I was left to do this on my own.
In the end Jenny ended up finishing 2nd in a close sprint finish and myself 20th in a close bunch sprint, I made my move slightly early on the uphill headwind finish so unfortunately was rolled on the line by a few people but never the less I was happy with my result and can’t wait to go back next year!
I would like to say a massive thankyou to Scottish cycling for the opportunity and as always Billy Bilsland Cycles for keeping my bike in top shape for the race !
Thanks for reading!