Mel reflects on the highs and lows of 2015 and recognises those who have helped her return to Track Cycling at this level…
As the nights draw in and the weather turns to sub zero, I always think it’s a good time to reflect on the season past. It has been a mixed season with successes where I have least expected them.
Having returned to cycling after many years out, and in my 40th year, I would have laughed had you told me I would post a new PB for 10 miles of 21.24 and a further two PBs in a 2k pursuit. I won 65% of the open Time Trials I rode and, having not ridden a bunch race in nine years, won Gold in the National Masters Points Race, followed by Bronze in the World Masters Points Race a few months later. I had a disappointing ride in the National 10TT and was then hit by a bug, which floored me before the World Masters. But, with all things, you have to take the rough with the smooth.
Behind any win, there is a large support crew. Firstly, and most importantly, my husband, who has supported and encouraged me through thick and thin, and generally picked up the pieces or told me to ‘man up’ when it all falls apart…and provides race day childcare… My coach Chris Davis, who has to be one of the most patient people on the planet and managed to get me to three PBs based around a permanently shifting diary and between only 5hrs and 8hrs training a week (thank God for intelligent training). To my teammates for their encouragement, banter and support, and of course the ‘other’ member of the team, David Jack, who has worked tirelessly in getting us all on the track, at the right time, with the right bike, with the right wheels – harder than you might think!
A massive thank you must go to those who have supported me throughout, without whom 2015 would not have been the success it was. Thank you TORQ for finally educating me in the importance of nutrition; I can’t believe it’s taken me this long! I raced with some incredible equipment this year, and I was completely unaware before of how much difference riding with the best kit makes!