Woke up on Saturday morning feeling sprightly and raring to go, well there’s a change, think it was because I was so excited for the full weekend’s worth of racing. I was under the strict instruction not to go all-out during the CXNE race in Durham, since the next day I would be competing at the Nationals in the same arena, so, no biggie! Today was purely getting to grips with the course and keep my points up for the league, however, I knew this would be a struggle since I had let myself become way too competitive. Yes, that’ll be my hereditary dad’s genes right there!
Dad wasn't racing today so it was all about me (ahem!) the benefit of this being that even when my bike got a speck of dirt on it, it was wiped off within seconds, thanks dad!
When we arrived, as usual, I got ready, practiced the course and signed on. This race was the first time I was competing on my new bright pink Frank The Welder CX bike and was super excited to try it out!
The course was pretty good with quite a lot of sections where you had to dismount. There were steps, hurdles, and a steep, slippy, muddy hill that was catching a lot of people out, myself included. Adding up all the technical turns it created a challenging course and kept the riders on their toes, exactly what you would expect with a National Trophy event the following day. Big applause for the course designers, you rock! My nerves weren't that bad to be honest, I was really enjoying the practice and having a good giggle, I knew that my race head would be on later in the day however.
Sure enough it was soon time to be gridded. My dad and me went to the start where Nicola Davies, Bev Blakeman, myself and then Jenn Batey were called out. Oh, was that the pang of my nerves kicking in just then?
Off we went and despite the strong temptation to sprint off straight away with Bev, Nicola and Jenn, I paid heed to my dad’s advice and kept a steady pace letting them fight it out up front. I ended up having a mini-battle with Natalie Batey which became rather amusing, I slipped off in the mud and Natalie overtook me, Natalie came off in the mud and I overtook her and on it went!
I will also tell you something weird; my dad screaming his head off with words of encouragement every time I belted past the pits. Under normal circumstances he’s on the course the same time as me, today however there he was being my proud dad!
The bell suddenly sounded for the final lap. This was what I was waiting to hear, head now down and firing up the adrenaline I got the cranks turning harder and managed to leave Natalie. I crossed the finish line taking fourth place in the Women’s category whilst keeping hold of the top Junior spot which I was stoked with.