This is what I’ve learnt so far: 1. Don’t be scared to lead. 2. Get to races early.

Today I raced with my dad in Nottingham in an event part of the Notts and Derby League. It was much bigger and had loads more competitors than Eastern League events, but was just as fun. The course was almost entirely grass with quite a few short and sharp hills. It wasn’t muddy, but it was certainly slippy!

As a newcomer I was called third in gridding and I got a decent start, slotting in nicely behind the U14 girls leader on the long sprint section. However, this is where I realised my first mistake.

As we approached the first incline the girl ahead quickly zipped past some slower riders, but I got caught behind them. I then had to follow them for a while, before pushing hard to catch up again.

Then I realised my second mistake: I didn’t know the course well enough. I wasn’t confident enough to make it up a particularly hard hill, and lost another few seconds to the girl ahead.

I continued to push hard however, and finished 2nd out of 11 girls in my category. Still got enough in the tank for tomorrow though!

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