Stage 4 TT
Final morning of racing! Weather forecast was sunny but when we arrived outside the hotel at 7am it was raining! Again we were all knackered. We were then told that the start time had been changed and we didn’t need to meet until 8! We could have really done with that extra hour in bed! Especially when all the international riders were apparently told the night before and nobody passed it on to us!
We sat in reception trying to stay awake but at least it would give the roads time to dry out. No such luck! 8am came and it was still raining, we were all nervous about setting off as the roads become like ice when they get wet. Frankie had decided to try and ride the final stage and was ready and waiting outside but when we set off in the rain, she made the sensible decision of turning back at the first corner as she didn’t want to risk coming off again.
It was a very steady ride out even the lead car sensed the danger and drove with caution, we all arrived at the dual carriageway in one piece and Annabel, Sam and myself set about doing a few laps of the course before it was closed off. The outside lane was beginning to dry out which made us more confident. It was a short TT today about 8 miles long but that may as well have been 25 for how my legs were feeling! We struggled for a decent warm up again but to be honest I just wanted to get out there and get it over with. I thought I set off quite well but I realised that was just because I had a backwind!! I headed down the first straight and could see the turn and the cones in the distance, however this is when I think the lack of sleep all week started to take effect and my brain just refused to work!! I got nearer to the cones but for some reason I just could not work out how to get around them! I seemed to be fixated on the outside cone and in a daze headed towards it until I was past it and half way round the roundabout (which we were not supposed to be on) with all the Marshalls shouting at me to come back! At this point it would have been quicker to just continue around the roundabout and re join the carriageway but in my sleep deprived state I decided to stop the bike, turn it round and try and get back inside the cones! It is as confusing as it sounds and I still can’t apply any logic to it what so ever! So with the Marshalls looking on in disbelief I came back inside the cones made the turn then set off again!! Into a block uphill headwind! Wonderful! The rest of the event passed without drama and I was so pleased to cross the line as I felt I was getting slower and slower which was a correct assumption as my time was certainly nothing to shout home about! I was just pleased to have finished. I jumped straight off my bike and went to cheer Sam on who was on her last lap, she clearly had more in her legs than me as was sprinting for the line and she came in with a good time as did Annabel who was not far behind. We were all pleased to have finished but were all freezing so set off rapidly back to the hotel (which in reality was very slow!) just our luck there was a massive climb on the way back and I can honestly say my legs were in pieces!
We arrived back at the hotel and after a massage got ready for the prize ceremony which was to be held at 8pm. We were all hoping that the results would have been sorted out by now and we would be given our correct positions. We were early for dinner, as we had been told the dining room was to shut earlier than usual. The dinner at the Hotel Soreda had been great and I had thoroughly enjoyed piling my plate up all week! I think the amount of food I ate became a bit of a talking point with me eating my way through starters, 2 full plates and dessert every night! People are always amazed at how much I eat because I am small but I’ve always eaten a lot of food. Happy days!
Anyway we finished by 8 and went to try and find the presentation. This proved difficult, as nobody seemed to have any idea of what was going on? We waited in the bar for an hour and eventually realised that the dining room had shut early, as that’s where it was to be held. The Maltese officials were all in there eating and it certainly looked like we wouldn’t be having the presentation for quite a while so teams just milled around in the hope that it wouldn’t be too long. We went in and out of the dining room numerous times and then gave up hope and retired once again to the bar. Teams were tired and started drifting off to bed, I think it was nearly 11pm when I suggested we go and have another look so Sam and Annabel went back through to the dining hall. It’s a good job they did as on the microphone “could a representative for Team Jadan please come up?” Sam ran across and was handed our certificates. We sat in there for a few more minutes but were only one of a couple of teams left as they had all gone off to bed. We left the officials to continue with their party and we also retired! Well most of us did! Sam and myself decided to go with Nicky and find a bar and have a couple of drinks! If anything I was hoping it might help me sleep!
By the time we were due to leave the next day the results had still not been amended but we were promised by the official that they would be altered.
The transport again was very good and took us all separately throughout the day to get on different flights. I did think this was very helpful of the organisers, as they could have just dropped us all at the airport together.
We did enjoy our time in Malta, it was great to get away in such good company and get a good block of racing in our legs. I would like to go back and compete again in the future but at the time of writing this blog they have still not amended the results and I feel this is bad organisation on their part. Annabel is still down as being lapped on stage 3 which affects her overall time, she should be somewhere around 19th place but is listed as 28th. I should be further down the results than I am as they messed up my placing on stage 3 but it is impossible to work out where as there are lots of other riders in wrong positions.
Overall if we go by the proper positions for the team then I think we all did really well. Sam was our highest placed finisher in 16th, Annabel in 20th and I think I should be somewhere around 25th? Frankie was sitting in 14th when she crashed. Considering this race did not suit me at all with the long climbs and TT efforts I wouldn’t have been too surprised if I’d come in last. So I was really pleased to have come in around the mid way mark.
We had a lot of help throughout the week from our tech guys Dave and Ewan, biking out each day with our spare kit and water bottles etc, helping sort our bikes out and generally running around after us, so huge thanks to them both, also to Nicky for coming out to help us at her own cost and sorting our bodies out!
Obviously without our sponsors we would not be able to race these events so a massive thanks to every one of them and a special mention to Hugh Rice Jewellers who paid for our entry into the race, it was a great experience and as long as the race positions are worked out we would like to go back again and be more competitive in the future. For now we live in hope that they finally get corrected and Annabel gets her rightful position!