I hate being late. Two years ago I travelled to the Jayco Bay Series with the boys and they told me I had to get out and ride due to traffic jams! That wasn’t possible as my derailleur was bent! A last minute mechanic job and no warm up was how I had started my 2006 experience, never again. So, 3 hours before my due start, my Mum and I arrived in Williamstown. The crowd was impressive, as was my form for the first 30 minutes. I was to go with opportune breaks that arose after sprint primes with the first of two going nowhere. Later in the race a small group broke clear containing Oenone Wood, Sara Carrigan, Alex Rhodes and Lauren Kitchen. It took me a lap to bridge to the leaders, but when I arrived I was rewarded with some sprint points and in turn, the sprinters jersey! Who would have thought! The break came back within a few laps and eventually Rhodes was solo, leaving us to sprint for second. With our sprinter Jess Berry (VIS) still on her track legs it was now up to me. I gave it my best, and despite some awful positioning, managed 7th for the stage.
Day 2 was the standard routine for Bay Series. Wake, eat, train, eat, race a 45 minute intense criterium and eat. Then before you know it, it’s time to do it all again. These particular criterium’s are raced on circuits from 800mtrs-2.3kms, with the women having two sprint primes at 15 minute intervals. I had no real aspirations to claim the sprinter’s jersey today, I simply wanted to finish the Portarlington criterium as I had never conquered it in the past. I had pushed some massive gears the day before, in my morning roll had felt the effects, and was daunted by the hill we were to face on the circuit. These factors combined influenced me to race the day in my small chain ring, a very wise decision in the end. After the relentless work from Helen Kelly (VIS) at the head of the race, a break of 6 went clear after the first prime and with Emma Rickards (VIS) as a representative, we were happy to let it go. The next 20 minutes saw the pace ease, Rhodes ride off the front again, and me sprint home for 4th in what was left of the peloton, 11th on the day.
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 1, Williamstown, 45minutes + 3 laps
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 2, Portarlington, 40minutes + 3 laps
* Images courtesy of WomensCycling.net