Been a while since my last update, so thought I’d do a small post about the last few months racing. After a good week of training in Mallorca at the end of March it was back to uni and final preparations for exams in May. Due to exams I wasn’t racing much until the end of May but I still managed to get a few races in.
The first was the St Helens CRC Bickerstaffe road race, I had raced at Bickerstaffe before and really liked the circuit. Its relatively flat squareish shaped circuit with a fast finish. It was my first race since my crash on the track so I was a little nervous about being back in a bunch so I took the first few laps to just ease myself back in. The race had a few attacks but I managed to just sit in a follow the moves and was feeling pretty good entering the last few laps. With two laps left I moved up and was sitting in the front of the group. Coming into the straight before the finish line on the last lap there was a bit of a cross wind and so rides were overlapping slightly over most of the road. Suddenly a rider in front of me on the far left of the road decided to move to the right and collided with another rider who veered right and crashed, I then went straight into that rider and over the bars and onto my face… And so now I have matching scars on my chin and a new section of road rash right on top of the newly formed skin on my leg from the last crash. Luckily for me the paramedics at the race were able to patch me up and saved me from having to take another trip to a random English A&E
Unfortunately, unlike the last crash I didn’t have 2 weeks holiday to recover so I was up first thing on Monday for a 6 hour day of lectures and labs, which when you can’t stand on one leg very well tends to make things uncomfortable. After two heavy crashes I was a little nervous about getting back on the bike but after a few gentle riders with the uni boys I started to feel more confident on the bike again.
My next race was the BUCS 25 mile TT in Oxford, I’ve been doing a lot of time trail this year and this was my 2nd 25 mile TT so I was really happy to do a 5 minute PB on what was admittedly a very fast course. After that I had the Scottish Students 10 Mile TT Champs in Freuchie were I finished 2nd
followed by the Scottish 10 Mile TT Champs were I finished 3rd Junior. The latter was the day before my first university exam so for the next two weeks, bike riding was on hold temporarily. I am happy to say however, exams went well and I found out this week I successfully passed all my exams!
After exams I only had a few days to try and find my racing legs again before the Scottish Road Race Championships on the 22nd of May, the race was a tough one with a hilly and slightly confusing course. I was nervous about the race as there was both multiple Commonwealth Games riders and Olympic hopefuls in the race. The first 8kms of the 33km lap were all climbing followed by a descent into a sharp left turn followed by more decent and a left turn at about 15kms where the course started to climb again, after this it was pretty rolling the whole way to the finish. I made it to this point on the first lap of 2 but as the bunch hit the corner an attack went and I couldn’t hold the pace and slipped off the back. The rest of the race was a solo effort to finish. I wasn’t expecting much from the race so I’m happy with 26th overall and 4th junior considering I was nowhere near race fitness.
After the champs I was lucky to have the opportunity to go back to Mallorca for a week to get my fitness back and attempt to get a tan with the lovely sunshine. After I got back I had two races the coming up the Scottish 25 Mile TT Champs on Saturday the 4th June and ERC womens race, Tour de Gladhouse on Sunday the 5th. This didn’t last long as the Scottish 25 Mile TT Champs were cancelled a few days before the race due to road works.
The Tour de Gladhouse was a round of the Scottish Womens Series and the first womens road race run by my own club that I’ve been able to race. The race was run on a tough 21km loop with nearly 1000m of climbing in the whole race. We raced over 4 laps so by the end, including the neutral zone the race was 90kms long. We rolled out of Eddleston just after 11am in glorious sunshine and as we had to ride the final climb to the finish in the neutral zone I made sure I was up front to make it as easy as possible and so I could get a clear run into the right hand turn off the main road. I stuck in the bunch for most of the first lap but lost out on the fast rolling section on the main road from Howgate to the Leadburn junction. I then formed a 3 rider group with Jess Millar and Emma MacLaren both riders from Johnstone Wheelers and we stuck together for the remaining 3 laps working well together. The race was the longest race I’ve done and I think the longest of the Scottish womens races. This combined with the climbing and heat made it a long day in the saddle, so I’m very proud of my team mate Eleanor Strathdee who finished 25th, it was her first road race on open roads and despite dropping her chain multiple times and having to ride on her own for parts of the race, she pushed on and even out-sprinted someone on the final climb to the finish!
I’d like to thank ERC for putting on the race and for all the club members who volunteered to help, it was so nice to race and have all the marshals cheering you on at every corner! I hope this start a long tradition of womens road races run by ERC!
Now I’ve moved back home to Edinburgh and getting my head down with training, I’m happy to say I’ve again been selected to ride in the Arctic Tour of Norway Hereos of Tomorrow Race, this year taking place in Bodø in August. This race will be one of my main aims for the season and I’m very excited for the opportunity and hope to better my performance from last year. In the short time I have a few crit races over the next few weeks and a road race down south at the end of the month. A big thank you to all the Junior teams sponsors as I would really struggle to manage all my racing without there support!
For my previous few blog posts please see: http://emmaborthwick.blogspot.co.uk