Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Women's Lake APR road race report

Women's Club TT champ, Julie Dominguez, rode her first road race at the weekend. The Lake APR event was a handicapped race, where women were seeded into different groups depending on their ability. The groups were set off at intervals with the faster riders in the last group and the slower ones in the front.

This was the first women-only race, of recent years, in Scotland and organising club Glasgow Nightingale should be congratulated for putting on such a well run event, which also included a men's race

It appears the seeding was unbalanced with some very fast riders managing to creep into the first group because they hadn't informed the organisers of their previous racing results.

Julie's continues:

My legs still hurt from Sunday's baptism of fire, It was a mega fast start, downhill, tailwind, top triathletes and roadies dragging me down the road to the first turn.

That was that, never saw them again!

It turns out that the seeding of competitors was obscured due to riders not pointing out their past achievements. I was in the first chasing group... chasing world class triathletes and Scottish talent team riders who were in the group in front.

A few of us straggled along a long winding road. I tried to get a girl onto my wheel but as I pushed on, to catch the rider in front, she couldn't hold on. I then couldn't catch the girl in front of me, so I cycled on, on my own, what a mess!

I rode with my hands over the bars, in a time trial pose, trying to claw back as much ground as I could. I had a moment of elation when I spotted a yellow number in front, I easily caught up, then pushed on - they couldn't keep up with me either.

After a 15 mile time trial I decided to stop (to be honest, I was getting bored with riding on my own). After a while a girl I had passed earlier appeared, so I decided to jump back on the bike and we rode together towards the finish.

We had a good chat about the race, about life, about sore legs and kept each other going. Suddenly we heard riders in the men's event catching us up - at last, a race!

I joined in with the guys as they shouted to get on their wheels. It was windy now, the road took a sharp left and then woosh! - downhill. This was my chance to shine, I can descend quickly, so I scared a few as I over took them. They jumped onto my wheel and followed me down hill, what a rush!

It made the earlier 15m TT worth it just for this! We were only a few miles from the finish, another descent and then a short sharp rise to the finish. I was happy again!

If I hadn't had a 'tea break' with 6 miles to go I would have finished in the middle of the 'girlie' pack. Instead I made a great pal, Anne, and experienced proper racing with the guys at the finish.

The organisation was great, can't fault it and YES I will be racing again!

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