In life, as humans we are destined to fail at some time or another, it's inevitable. Yet, these drawbacks must be used as a stepping stone for progression to make us stronger. This weekend finally showed me what all the winter training and weekly hours I put into cycling are for. I came 4th at the National R.2 at Wheelmaid in Cornwall. Although I just missed out on a podium place, I am over the moon! It is an improvement from my last result, after coming 7th in Essex. That was a bit of a set back from me and not a great race, but now I know I can move onwards and upwards. Thanks to my excellent coach, Maddie Horton, I have finally got a placing that shows me I can do it.
Riding at Wheelmaid was mentally tough. The inclusion of technical descents like Down to brown, sent almost everyone down unattached to their bikes, making it one of the hardest National courses. The unforgiving gravel and rocks sent my mum to hospital with 10 stitches and a splint and causing others to puncture and bend handlebars. This challenging course is made for the best, which is why it's so exciting to ride it. At the time, I felt a little sick with nerves, but the satisfaction of surviving a course like that makes you feel great.
The start of my race was not quite as planned, having my shoe buckle break so that my sprint start was held back by a slipping foot. Although, this accident was in fact very lucky. I usually sprint off the start as hard as I can and at the last race I burnt myself out too quickly after being chased and caught up. So, I have realised that I prefer to do the chasing - starting off slow meant I had enough energy and gave me extra determination to catch up the others in front of me. In future races, I may not unbuckle my shoe on purpose, but I have found that rushing ahead may not always be the best solution. The race was close, having two girls constantly swapping places with me and battling for positions. By the last lap I felt safe though, as I lost sight of them along to the finish and grinned my way across the line.
As well as racing, the weekend organised by Fully Sussed, was full of activities. All of our team did karaoke, showing off our hidden talent as singers. Jay Horton even treating us with a beautiful solo (I was surprised that he can actually sing!).
Thanks to everyone who came along to support and to all the Mavericks who make the weekend especially lively and fun.
Credits to my sponsors Silverfish UK and Rockets and Rascals for all the support you have given me.
More on the 2014 BC National MTB Cross Country Series Rd 2: