Leading up to the Newnham Park national my emotions were definitely very mixed, there were glimpses of being extremely nervous at racing on home ground that then transformed into being absolutely buzzing to be riding at Newnham all weekend.
On Friday night I started my weekend by going to watch dad racing in the moonlit soggy, it was such a strange situation to be on the other side of preparation for a race so I decided to take the opportunity of this and constantly reminded dad to drink and was extremely disappointed with him for forgetting his rollers. I'll make sure that next time he's prepared and race ready. After his long three laps dad finished in 12th vet and did look like he had tried quite hard!
Saturday morning started with the pre lap I had been looking forward to after my walk of the lap the evening before. The course, created by Maddie and Jay Horton, provided continuous challenges with technical ups along with downs. The numerous A lines brought mental obstacles along with the obvious physical ones. Even with these I still managed to have a smile on my face as I cycled around! Well my smile momentarily disappeared on picnic rocks when I decided that throwing myself on the floor and eating some mud may be a good idea.
|That moment of knowing it had all gone wrong!|
After a slightly eventful Saturday, in which my sister won the U8 race (whoop whoop), Sunday seemed to be coming very slowly! Although Newnham being the closest national to home, we still managed to get up just as early but waking up in my own bed was something I wasn't used to when attending these big events. For the whole of Sunday morning I tried to get into the race frame of mind after recognising this as a weakness from previous events and altering my warm up helped massively with this. Although I was in 'racing mode' I still felt extremely nervous and slightly sick stood on the start line watching all of the youth and juvenile boys race off. After my disappointing race at Sherwood I started on the second row so knew that a good start was essential, knowing this made me so more motivated as the gun went off and we all raced on towards the first technical section. I was very happy with my start and managed to push myself up there at the front even managing to face my fear of picnic rocks and overtake a few people. For my first lap I felt great, I went through the start arena in about 6th and felt like I could catch 5th and maybe even 4th. But then the predictable happened and I messed up on picnic rocks as I was scared that being slightly offline would result with the same situation as the previous day. This then set me badly for my 2nd lap and I managed to lose 2 places due to continuous crashes. I ended up finishing in 8th which I am happy with but knowing I could have done better is making me feel really motivated for the next round to see if I can achieve a better position.
|The removal of the mud I had just eaten! - photos by Bob Paxton-Yeo |
Thank you to Certini for the continued support, along with Complete Cycle Works for making my bike feel amazing! Also, thank you to Maddie and Jay for putting on a great race, the best national I've been to! Thank you to my mum and dad for supporting me throughout the weekend and to the Mavericks and anyone else who helped through the weekend! And finally thank you to my school friends coming and seeing me race, seeing my second life of hanging out in numerous fields around the country!