Team Pursuit Gold

Mel battles with a bug in the lead up to the World Masters Track Champs…

With the schools going back in September, for me, October is always a month of dodging the latest bug which has been brought through the front door by the children. Sadly, 2015 was no exception.

Just the week before the World Masters, ithlete showed that my HRV numbers were up in the 100s, so I knew I was coming into some serious form. However, by Thursday, my HRV had plummeted down to the mid 70s, which told me something was brewing. As ever, ithlete was correct and by Saturday, I was in bed with a temperature and unable to drive to Manchester. With the heats for the individual pursuit on Sunday morning, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to compete and having trained specifically for this event, disappointment doesn’t even begin to tell you how I felt!

By Sunday, with absolutely no voice, a very sore throat and some difficulty breathing, I limped rather pathetically to Manchester to see if the team pursuit team still wanted me. Having raided the wonderful trackside medical team for Lockets, Nurofen and WADA approved cough mixture, I did a leg loosener on the turbo. I survived this and was told I was good enough to ride the TP the following morning, assuming I continued to improve over night.

Monday morning arrived. Still no voice, a very sore throat and cough, but I generally felt a little better, so I turned up ready for action to find the unsung hero of the TORQ Track Team, Chief Pit Bitch David Jack, hard at work sorting out bikes and wheels. 

The TP team consisted of two very rapid individuals, TORQ team mate Janet Birkmyre and Madeline Moore, both of whom had won their individual pursuits (Maddy breaking the World Masters record in the process). Being the diesel engine of the three, getting on their wheels out of the starting gates when I am feeling 100% is already difficult at best. Thankfully, our coach Chris Davis gave us strict instructions to ease out of the gate and take it steady for the first lap. This worked brilliantly and I found myself immediately on Maddy’s wheel, being nursed along at a rapid pace. We recorded the fastest time to take us into the Gold/Silver ride off against an Irish/NZ composite team. 

The evening of the final arrived and having deteriorated slightly during the day, I was only able to do half laps, but thanks to some huge efforts from both Janet and Maddy and a technically perfect race, we won the Gold, smashing the World Masters record by nearly 3 seconds in the process!  The Irish/NZ team put in an amazing ride and gave us a good battle, taking silver, while the Australian team, who looked very impressive in the heats, secured bronze ahead of the Americans.

The rest is rather a blur. We went from winning, to the podium at 9pm, swept immediately into dope control, then straight into the car to drive for four hours to get home. I arrived at 2am, got kids up at 7am, the school run was at 8am and I was wondering if it was all a dream as I stood at the school gates, still with no voice!

Many thanks to the World Masters organising committee and all the officials and medical team for a great week of racing.  Looking forward to 2016!

Thank you to our sponsors:

Torq Fitness – Nutrition
Wilier – Custom Carbon Track Frames
FFWD Wheels – Race wheels
Limar – Ultra light Road and Time Trial Helmets
Lake Cycling Shoes – Cycling and podium shoes
Active Life Logistics – Dugast tyres
CeramicSpeed – Ceramic bearing upgrades
Todays Cyclist – KMC Chains
Tifosi Optics – Tifosi eyewear
ithlete – HRV measurement and analysis with ithlete Pro
Jagwire – Cables and housing
Fenwicks – Lubrication and bike maintenance
Race Ware – Custom computer mounts
Altura – Team clothing
Lezyne – high pressure pumps and tools
Camelbak – Bottles