25 February, 2014

GP Souvenir Jean Masse and GP d’Aix

Getting flown down to Marseille this weekend was very cool. I felt like a mixture between a princess and a race-horse, particularly as post-race on Monday we were literally bundled into the car and driven to the airport a few minutes after finishing, (sweat, snot and all included in my case. Very dashing!). I then got to wondering on the drowsy flight back whether Nantes would put me to stud when I retire…

But I digress. As you can probably tell I spent quite a lot of time hub staring this weekend: the art of glaring at the rider in front’s rear wheel, as it’s just too much effort to look any further and your world effectively ends there anyway. On Sunday it was an amateur case of self-sabotage – I didn’t drink enough.

The race started off steady, and I mean really steady, for the first ninety minutes which was very odd to experience. Everyone was on edge as it could easily kick off at any point and on any road, with decent climbs and windy sections everywhere. When it finally did I missed a vital bottle and what with the extra five degrees in temperature I was a salty mess. I had no power and looked like a fool - it was rubbish.

Lorenzo continuing to ride like a boss, with 3rd place.

Yesterday at GP d’Aix was completely different, with it going flat stick tout suite! Straight out the blocks and up a 3k+ climb with fresh teams who hadn’t ridden the day before, it was fabulous. I was slipping ‘n’ sliding backwards through the group faster than an oiled up seal on a waterslide.

Yes I may have spent some time last wheel. Yes I may have made up about 100 places every descent by being a dicey ‘English pig!’ (best race insult received yet). That’s how I roll.

Breaks had been coming and going all day but, honestly, when you’re dying of thirst you’re not likely to be thinking about what flavour cordial you fancy. I was just happy to still be in the race. With 15k to go inexplicably my legs came to life and I seemed to be the strongest left. What on earth?

The break was just up the road and on the final climb I rode pretty much flat out on the front and forged a group off the front. Everyone was swinging though, so it came back together on the descent and then it was time for a choppy final few kilometres. I elbowed my way up to the front with the best of them and got second in the bunch kick. Sweet.

This picture is not from the weekend, but it is bad-ass.

15th place was alright too, considering how dreadful I’d been all day! We flew back to Nantes together after a good weekend for the team: not amazing, but good. Today I rode my bike, for a lot of hours. If anyone wonders what it’s like to be full time that is it – another day, another training session to be done. I love it.

Peace out.


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