One week later and my legs still quiver at the memory of the graft of the stage race that was Holme Valley Wheelers 2 Day. Set in South Yorkshire it promised a weekend of fast racing!
Job one: load up Golf with 3 bikes, 2 sets of rollers, bags of food, kit and bottles, the odd spare wheel and one Sarah Bradford. Job two – drive 250 miles to South Yorkshire. Job three, four and five eat, sleep, race repeat!
One thing I’ll say for South Yorkshire, it’s beautiful! Coming from a Scotland base we were spoilt for sunshine, didn’t even realise we could get away without leg warmers until the second day!
Joining myself and Sarah (hereinafter referred to as Sazzy B) were Sarah Burke, Louise Scupham and Elizabeth Burrows for Team Jadan Weldtite
First test of the weekend was a 10 mile TT, honestly not at all my strong point, especially when there a hill comprising the entire first 5 miles. But I got over that and then the long fast run into the line allowed me to claw back a bit of time, not a lot mind, I placed 29th of 40 plus starters.
Some basking in the sunshine and a granola bar or two and off we set on Stage 2; which encompassed three laps of the TT route, so that lovely hill I mentioned before?… I had to get over it a few more times! Oh joy! Something to know if you’re a rider who doesn’t climb all that well, get yourself to the front of the peloton if you know there’s a hill up the road. It gives you room to slip on the pace without losing the group. Easier said than done obviously, especially when it’s your first hilly road race of the season!
Off home for some grub and recovery and the magic of compression tights…. Mmmmm (thanks 2XU!)
With Stage three looming we had two less team-mates joining us for four laps of (surprise surprise) the same circuit!! But my goodness what a stage! Fusion RT had Angela Hibbs as race leader after her stomping time of 27.34 TT, so she was a marked lass and UCI team Drops weren’t about to let her off. Attack after attack straight away and a group went up the road with a strong Drops representation. All the fantastic riding of Angela and her Fusion team-mate Steadman couldn’t chase them down, they did however succeed in dropping me! Twice!
Such an exciting race and what a way to kick the season off! Can’t wait for more of the same, the excitement is definitely the only thing that will distract from the pain of it all of course! That and having awesome team-mates and sponsors to help us all out!
Slán go fóil folks!
Over 23 Rider