Women's cycling has really exploded recently and getting on the start list was my first problem. With the 60 race places already taken I decided to travel to Milton Keynes for the Lovello 42 mile Women's Crit Race and see if I could get a reserve's place. You have to arrive early to get on the list (its first come first served) so with a 12.00hrs start I was waiting patiently for registration to open bright and early.
Outside the arrival of some teams like Matrix Fitness , Aprire HSS Starley Racing and Drops Cycling Team was quite daunting and assured me of the quality I was potentially racing with. Thanks to a bit luck and another riders illness I managed to get a start with 15 minutes to go. Even getting the numbers on in the right place and the right way up was a job. But I was there for the rolling start out of the village.
With 60 girls ridding very close it was quite a rush and having the out riders and support cars it felt really good. The course was a triangular rout of 7 miles climbing and falling continually over six laps. On the first lap I kept in the pack and just gauged who was around and what the etiquette was while gauging the course.
On laps two and three a number of brakes were attempted but these were always closed down quite quickly but I decided to stay around the front to stay out of any trouble and to be able to go with any breaks. By laps 4 and 5 I was enjoying the experience but knew I was in a race and that the serious push was about to come. The race finish was on a slight incline of about 1mile and having been over it on the earlier laps I new this would be a full gas moment. The final lap saw the pace pick up and I found myself in a 30ish strong group but as the finish line approached the sprinting quality of these girls showed me the way and I finished in 22nd place.
Considering there were cat 2,3,4 in this race I was really happy to with my place and got round safe and sound.