I have to say I was incredibly excited and nervous to start my second year of cyclocross racing. The previous year had not been the best and my main goal then had just been not to come last – but this year it was going to be different.
The day was bright and warm, full of fresh-faced cyclists all eager to race their hearts out. As the race was in Redbridge the course contained the road circuit and mountain bike trail, as well as a bit in between. It was quite technical, with some hairy descents and a few lumps and bumps, not to mention the killer hills. As my sister had just won the U12 girls I felt a certain amount of pressure to perform as well, and I got a relatively good start.
I didn’t know where I was on the course relative to the other girls, so I mainly worked at my own pace, chipping away at my rivals. At the hilly sections I realised that I just had to go at my own rate, because if one were to sprint up them you would be dead for the rest of the lap. I worked on the basis that when my legs started screaming I would slowly recover until they were ready for another bashing.
As I neared the end my sister shouted that there was a girl ahead of me and I kickstarted my sprint to catch her. In actual fact it turned out that I was lapping her, and to my absolute delight I finished the first U14 girl and second U16 girl.
All in all, I’m proud of myself and with great excitement I anticipate a hopefully fun and successful season.