#Blog11 The Gifford RR/New Team kit

First of all, sorry I have not posted much recently. Unfortunately both my team launch and the Mad March TT were cancelled due to the Beast from the east, so I simply had nothing to post about.

Luckily this race was a little closer to home being only an hour away in Edinburgh compared to my last race, the velo29 crit, which was 3 hours away. Scotland definitely lived up to its expectations on the weather front! Driving rain and wind made for a freezing, yet interesting race. Although this was an improvement from the relentless snow storms we had all suffered the week before, so I can’t really complain.

On the bright side, I got to race in my brand spanking 2018 Team 22 race kit!

Now onto the race. A total of 41 miles, five laps round a rolling circuit with an uphill finish which meant the seniors had no advantage with their 11/12 up cassettes. An ideal first season race and the course suited me pretty well and being from the west I know all about riding in the rain.

In order to ward off the elements I opted for;  mesh base layer, short-sleeved gabba, team 22 jersey, nanoflex arm and knee warmers, aero overshoes and finally nanoflex gloves. Seems like a lot to be wearing in a race, if you were there then you would understand.

Typical manic neutral section, car sped off at 30mph dropped the peloton, car eventually slowed down, car slammed on the brakes multiple times nearly making all the riders crash. You’ve got to love it.

The flag dropped and I had managed to hold third wheel in the group and im glad I did, because the next 5 minutes were brutal. Thankfully the pace dropped and the rest of the first lap was a fairly easy tempo with nobody really contesting the QOM as we had such a long way to go. Still I hadn’t dropped out of the top ten of the bunch not even for a second as I knew since the race was pretty short sooner or later it was all going to kick off.

BOOM. Second lap up the main climb the race split to pieces. A small select group formed from what was a savage attack from the one and only Jane Barr. I just put my head down and pedaled my heart out till the descent. Only then could I look around and assess who had made the cut.

Eight of us were now away and fully committed and putting out a good pace all working together. Then about three laps in just as we were rolling over one of the more minor climbs on the circuit the junior and 3/4 men’s race break away caught our group. I managed to follow Amy Gornal and Jane Barr onto the back of them which put a gap between us and the rest of the girls, but that didn’t last very long.

I had made the inexcusable mistake of under fuelling myself. Since this was my first road race of the season I was a little rusty with my eating strategy. As the race was only short I stupidly thought I could survive on gels. Well I was wrong. With the cold weather and pace of the race, this was just simply not enough food. I was very angry at myself as looking back this was pretty obvious, but hey we live and learn. Safe to say I will not be making that mistake again. All I can say is that im glad it happened now, this early in the season, and not during one of my top goals.

I dropped back and manged to stay in the select group of eight untill all hell broke loose when the junior and 3/4 mens main peloton caught us. As the race went I was getting weaker and weaker instead of stronger and stronger so when we hit the main climb I was gone. Left to ride on my lonesome for half a lap before some of the other junior girls within a group of spat 3/4s caught me and I manged to ride till the end with them.

Finishing 8th over all and 4th junior in my first road race of the season isn’t exactly all bad. Considering if I had been in the form I was this time last year I definitely wouldn’t have had such a great first half of a race, so really happy with that and cant wait to see what the rest of the season brings.

I knew I had more in my legs but there is nobody to blame but myself for that. However this has given me some extra drive for the next race.

Big thanks to my Dad for driving me there and to Billy Bilsland cycles for the amazing Mavic race wheels and the gazebo…its was much-needed.

Also big thanks to jimmy mach at Whats Your Meta for all your support.

thanks for reading,

Ellie

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