Louise rounds off a busy week at the World Masters with the 500m TT, the Points Race and the Match Sprint…
For me, Wednesday was the 500m TT. I wanted to get close to my PB and definitely to go faster than I had at the Nationals the week before. Getting up to race, I had the Aussie, Rebecca Wheddon, on the other side of the track and I really wanted to beat her, but knew I’d have to ride close to a PB to do so. The race itself was OK, apart from just about missing my aero bars on the transition and I think if it hadn’t been for that blip, I would have ridden another PB. I did, however, ride my second quickest time and went 0.9 of a second faster than I had ridden last week, so I was happy. I also claimed the Bronze medal, which I was chuffed with, as I really hadn’t expected to medal in this event.
Thursday was a free day for me, so I went out for a spin on the road with Nikki Kovacs and Aileen McGlynn (Lou’s Commonwealth Games stoker). The weather was lovely and it was nice to get away from the Velodrome for a while. Jan and Maddy were riding the Team Sprint, so I wanted to get back to cheer them on. The girls rode brilliantly and, considering they hadn’t trained for this event at all, it was great to see them come away with the Silver medal.
Friday night was the Points Race and on reflection, I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I entered this! Anyhow, I decided to just get on with it. I managed to win the first sprint, knowing it was would be tough going trying to get points in every one of the six sprints, because there were over 20 riders on the track and with three age groups up together, it was difficult to know who you were racing. So, I really wanted to get the five points in the first Sprint to take a little pressure off and after that it was a free for all, with everyone fighting to get to the front and my team mate, Mel Sneddon, attacking left, right and centre!
By mid-race I was dying, but a quick glance at the scoreboard showed that if I could just stick in, I would come away with another medal. So I gritted my teeth, managed to get a few more points to secure the Bronze medal, just one point off my new fav pal, Nikki Kovacs, who took Silver. I was really chuffed to be on the podium again and it was made even better, because Jan won her age group and Mel took the Bronze in hers – what a team!
Saturday was the last day of the Championships. It had been a long week and they put the Sprint on at the end. I punctured just before my 200m TT, but luckily I had a spare wheel, so I didn’t panic. I didn’t ride my 200 particularly well, but again I was faster than I had been the week before, so I wasn’t too disappointed and I qualified 4th, with the times for the top four being fairly close.
In the first round I had a three-up match with an Aussie and Victoria Hood of GB. Three-ups aren’t the easiest, as having more than one person to keep an eye on is difficult. This race looked like it was going to be a disaster for me; with a lap to go I was boxed in by the Aussie and Victoria, and then I’m not quite sure what happened, but I had a clear path to sprint over the top and take the win. I don’t know how I got out of that, as I should have finished third, but it meant I had qualified straight into round two where I would be up against a rider from Finland. Again, I won my race and that put me through to the semi-final, where I would be up against my pal and the fastest qualifier, Maddy Moore. It is always a shame when that happens, but it is what it is and, as much as we were pals off the track, I still wanted to kick her butt in the race! The semi-finals were the best of three and I gave it a really good go, with both of our races being the quickest so far, but Maddy was just too quick for me and that meant I would be riding for the Bronze medal against Rebecca from Australia later that day, while Maddy would race for Gold against the girl from the Netherlands. In the medal ride off I won both of my races to take the Bronze medal, which was a relief, because at this stage I didn’t think I had it in me if it went to three rides, and Maddy won her race to take Gold.
And so it’s all over. I got some Rainbow Stripes, a Silver medal, two personal bests and three Bronze medals. I am really happy with how I raced and I am looking forward to next year already.
Huge congrats also to my amazing team mates, Jan and Mel, who also won stripes and medals in every event they competed in.
Thanks again for reading.
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