|Photo: Balint Humvas report Cyclephotos.co.uk|
|Photo: Balint Humvas report on Cyclephotos.co.uk|
I returned to Antwerp to race Soudal Classics – Scheldecross. The aim was to beat last year's 20th place but mistakes in the cut up deep sand on the opening lap forced me right down the field. The third lap a similar sand related mistake occurred leaving me floundering on the beach. The fourth lap, the jigsaw went together perfectly and I made it to a group and then rode through them to secure 29th and make up 5 places.
I know I would have been much faster and further up the field if in the technical sand I have run the moment my Dugast touched the golden grit but in the practice laps I could ride it, it had just become alot more cut up as the day went on.
I felt tired but excited to race in Ipswich at the Southern and Eastern Championships. The course was open and flat, no climbing and a few technical wooded section, a bit of sand and a run up.
Strangely I wasn't gridded, so lined up a row back from Louise Mahe (Mule Bar Girl). When the gun went I struggled to get past the back markers on the early bends and the time gap to Louise went out to 20 seconds.
I caught up to 2nd place at the end of lap 1, but the twists of the course meant I had to sit on and catch my breath and wait until the start/finish straight to attack and overtake. The 10 second lead Louise had remained and she was motoring away on fine form. Another sand related mistake happened on lap 3 when I wasn't quite clipped in after the run up and then in the wrong gear for the little bump after, it meant I lost another few seconds. In the end she just pulled out a lead that I couldn't shut down and I felt I didn't quite have the power to eek about another 2% after riding a tough race in Antwerp.
Data from the race:
Lap 1 - Lap 2 - Lap 3 - Lap 4 - Lap 5
Louise - 11:07 - 7:21 - 7:25 - 7:25 - 7:33
Claire - 11:24 - 7:22 - 7:33 - 7:35 - 7:31
|My silver British Cycling medal to add to the other three!|