The weather forecast had predicted rain, but when we arrived in Basildon the clouds had cleared up and there was a hint of sunshine. The course was mainly grassy with a few loose surfaces, and although it contained some decent gradients it wasn’t hugely technical.
While I was warming up on the course I noticed my chain wasn’t shifting into its lowest gear and I knew that would be a problem. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to fix it, and I’d just have to dig extra deep on the hills.
I was gridded on the third row, first girl called, in a relatively small race-field, and I got one of my best starts so far. Very close to the start was a ditch and a couple of riders came off so I had to awkwardly move around them, but I was soon back on track. As the race progressed I rode in a group of three with another girl in my category and an U14 boy.
It was a tough course and I felt I was tiring a bit due to my fast start, so despite a few attacks I made early on I mainly conserved my energy. On the last couple of laps the hills were really hurting from the loss of my smallest gear, and after a particularly difficult one the boy attacked.
Just trying to maintain my place as first girl now, I rode steadily and within my pace, and out sprinted the other girl by a good few bike lengths. Overall, I was pleased with my first win in both the U14 girls and U16 girls, but this has been my first race that was so close at the finish.
Some goals for next time:
- Try and bunny hop the ditch and have the confidence to do so.
- Pace myself better.