Dave Peck Memorial

10.04.15

Lucy Shaw Wins

Lucy Shaw Wins

The weather conditions for the first road race of the season, and coincidently the first day of “British Summertime”, only really have one word to describe them: grim. I don’t mind racing in the rain however as it always proves to create exciting racing, and having raced across England for numerous years, I’m pretty used to it by now. Wet and windy weather seems to be the norm for the majority of the season!

Being the first open road race of the year, and not having competed in this event before I didn’t quite know what to expect but I had a good feeling that the course would suit me, so I was looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing what I could do as well as getting a rough idea of where I am at for this time of year. The race consisted of 13 laps round the Valley End circuit, which has a sheltered drag that brings you up to complete the lap, and then 5 laps round Staple Hill, a slightly shorter circuit, with a tight turn bringing you on to a fairly gentle hill, with 2 short kicks broken up by flatter sections.

After a fairly steady start, and numerous attacks only to be bought back, the biggest challenge to the race was posed when a rider attacked on the finishing circuit, and was still holding onto a considerable gap when the bell rang with a lap to go at the top of Staple Hill. There was a sense of panic in the group, and I think I wasn’t alone in thinking that I didn’t want a repeat of the previous week, where the bunch was left sprinting for the minor places. On the final lap, however, once I could see the rider in our sight, I then knew that the bunch would be both eager and quick to catch her, so I composed myself, and tried to set myself up in the best possible position for the sprint.

At the bottom of Staple Hill there was a dead turn, which then leads you into the run to the finish. I was cautious going into this last bend, and after having seen other riders slip off in the wet on previous laps, I didn’t want to give the race away right at the end. The bunch started to pick up the speed, and I patiently sat waiting until we reached the second dig of the climb. With a tail wind going into the finish, I knew that it was possible to go early, so I picked my moment and went for it, which I instantly thought was way too early, but I managed to kick again and hold on to get a comfortable win, and my first road win of the season!

So, after a good weekend of racing flying the Matrix Fitness flag alone in the peloton, I am excited to be racing the Tour of Reservoir alongside Jessie, Penny and Elinor and seeing what we can do!

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