Thanks to all for your support and encouraging comments after my ‘race report’ last week, all comments were very welcome as I was feeling very apprehensive about my ride in the LRC Hilly this morning. I tried to take all the positives I could though; my new race suit arrived the day before (great timing, thanks Hans), finishing the event would make me first WVCC Woman (this doesn’t happen very often), the weather forecast was good and the course suited me.
I had a good build up to the event; Tuesday club 10, spinning sessions on the Turbo in the days following, then my second vaccine on Saturday! This maybe wasn’t a good idea, my thought being that it was important to have the jab and if I didn’t feel well in the 24 hours after it I wouldn’t start. With hindsight I maybe should’ve arranged it for after the event though, thankfully all was ok.
I was first rider off at 09:01 and fully expected half of the women’s field to pass me before the finish. I was still first on the road at Tilton, which is a third into the ride. By the half way point just before Knossington I was still ahead. I began to think I could actually be the first finisher as I rode through Somerby, Pickwell, Little & Great Dalby and even through Thorpe Satchville I still hadn’t seen anyone. Then, as I was flying down the hill towards the finish, number 10 went past, she didn’t actually leave me standing but I saw her rear light further and further away in the distance.
I finished just over 1 hour 24 minutes which is not quite evens, I was 12th woman out of 20 starters, the first woman (Lou Bates Notts Clarion) finished in 1:14:07. The first man (James Shaw Ribble Weldrite Procylcing) smashed the course record finishing 15 seconds under the hour. First Vet (Matt Bottrill Team Bottrill) finished with 1:06:55.
The event organisation was superb, even down to the weather. I didn’t envy the marshal at Tilton where riders have to turn right, the traffic through there built up throughout the event which made me pleased to be first through in the relative early morning.
I would like to thank the WVCC supporters along the course, I saw Vic Barnett and Ian Waterfield, I think Claire was with him but I’m afraid I didn’t see her. There were plenty of people along the route shouting my name too, it made me feel quite special. Many thanks to Paul who was my driver, helper and calmer downer which I needed first thing this morning.
I certainly worked hard, my arms are aching as much as my legs, it’s certainly a good workout for getting rid of ‘bingo wings’ (the middle aged women reading this will understand). I felt decidedly ill when I arrived home and couldn’t finish my lunch, I decided an afternoon sleep was in order. I feel more human now and it’s almost beer o’clock while watching the final stage of the Tour of Romandie. They only have a 15km TT, that’s nothing!
WVCC Finishers: (I think I have captured everyone-apologies if I’ve missed anyone)
3rd (Junior) Alex Smith 1:22:32
12th (W) Jill Postlethwaite 1:24:03
13th Phil Rayner 1:12:56
17th Jason Williams 1:14:49
19th Simon Dixey 1:15:11
23rd Austin Smith 1:15:26
31st William Cull 1:17:35
32nd Lawrence Cox ST
44th Gary Ashwell 1:23:45