Next Generation UCI Track Event, Apeldoorn, 7th/8th January 2017

What a memorable weekend, not just for the excellent racing.

Friday

Set off Friday morning with the Welsh Cycling team- James, Sam, Dan, Josh, Matt, Izzy, Sophie, Lizzy, Gwenno, along with the staff Stu, James and Becky.  We had an ETA of 19:00, but after going to the wrong place, getting stuck in traffic, we finally arrived at 23:00, missing dinner. Key learning point – check the GPS destination,  pick up food at any opportunity, and most importantly learning how to pee into a bottle whilst stuck in traffic on a motorway.

Saturday

After a good nights sleep, time to race.

Two races for me – Devil and the Scratch.

Scratch first. Fast, fast, fast. Spent first half watching others. I attacked, a French guy came across, we stayed away for about 3 laps, then got caught with about 8 laps to go. Race came down to a sprint. Positioned too far back to be competitive. Legs felt good, but tired at the end.

Devil. Real quality race and great fun, really enjoyed it. Best part of the race was Will Tidball and me putting the Danish rider out the back, and me pushing the bigger riders around. James rode strongly on the front and finished a respectable 6th.   I ended up on the podium behind Will Tidball 2nd, and Jake Stewart 1st – a UK podium.

Evening – nice to eat a proper meal, not a dry sandwich from a Belgian motorway station (but was grateful for anything at that point).

Sunday

Busy day – Tempo, Points and Madisson.

After a big breakfast, first race of the day was the Tempo, where points are awarded for the first rider across the line every lap (20 laps). Fastest race of the weekend. Full gas from the start. Managed to collect one point, second lap in 🙂   James also pick up a point.  I finished the highest place rider on 1 point, placed 5th, with my friend Rhys Britton (Team GB) finishing 1st.

Points race next (40 laps).  Tried to get away a few times, but did not succeed. Race was fast and furious.  Very good quality race. Felt OK, but did not get any points 🙁  Joe Nally (Team GB) won.

Madisson with my partner Dan Coombe (40 laps).  We knew we had to ride the race from the front to avoid getting caught behind the changes. We managed to collect one point. Continuously fast, relentless.  But definitely favourite race of the weekend – legs felt really good. Placed 6th – very pleased with that.

Summary

Learnt a lot off the bike as well as on.

Thanks to James Heaton for keeping the trip home interesting – but in all fairness the Truck Game should have been neutralised while I was on my phone !!!  And surely Bohemian Rhapsody is worth double points.

Thanks to Welsh Cycling  @welshcycling for the opportunity and running the trip. I am so looking forward to more trips, more great experiences, and racing against some more very classy riders.

 

 

 

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