I am a 2nd category junior women and would say I am a very keen cyclist. I ride for my local club Andover Wheelers. Throughout the summer I will race around 3 or 4 times a week at local circuit races such as Ludgershall and Thruxton and our club’s TT’s. There are few junior girls around my area therefore the majority of my training is with men, as well as local races, which usually results in entering the men’s 3rd cat races. This year I have started larger women’s races, this has definitely been an eye-opener! I have raced a couple National Women Team Series races; these contain some of the UK’s best teams such as Matrix Fitness and MG Maxi Fuel, they are also notorious for large crashes!! Women’s cycling has improved majorly over the past few years, this year I have had the opportunity to race the RideLondon criterium, rubbing shoulders with Olympians Laura Trott, Danni King and Joanna Rowsell (I can’t say I did particularly well in this race!). The race I enjoyed most this year is the 3 day stage race in Jersey, I certainly recommend anyone going to watch it!
My last race of the year was the Westminster Criterium. This was an amazing opportunity to race in the streets of London to mark the end of the Tour of Britain. I wasn’t particularly nervous until a crash on the warm up lap reminded what women’s racing is like! I started at the very back of the start line which once the race went like a rocket left me straggling of the back of the bunch, nonetheless Elz (and Rhys!) relentless cheering kept me going!
Next year I hope to try track racing, however travelling to either Calshot or Newport is going to be difficult, if not, I’m sure some cyclocross will be good training!
(I met Lili through my last job, and she kindly offered to stand in for me at work so I could do the Garmin Ride Out last year. Probably one of the nicest people I know! Keep an eye out for her in the future! And follow her on twitter @lilimayemclean 🙂 hope you enjoyed this – Elz)