23 February 2013 has been a day that the women’s team at Biketreks Racing Academy have had marked in their diaries for a few weeks as it marked the start of the season for the new team, with all of the girls riding at Marsh Tracks in Rhyl.
The weather in the week leading up to the women’s event had been glorious – plenty of sun albeit a tad on the chilly side however it was enough to get us in the mood for our first adventure as a team together. However, as the day drew nearer, the weather seemed to take a turn for the worst, and snow was mentioned in the weather forecast on the TV.
But undeterred, all five of us turned up in Rhyl – despite the fact that it was snowing on the way there, it was bitterly cold (and I mean bitterly cold) and pretty windy. We all got on the start line and listened to the Commissaire’s briefing – the race was originally a women’s only event however the race organiser had discussed the event with the powers that be and had agreed to hold it at the same time as the 4th category men.
The girls were given a 1 minute 30 second handicap and were told that once the men caught us, we would be able to race with the men, although there would still be a separate women’s result.
Without further ado, we set off and it seemed as though certain riders couldn’t decide whether to work together or just wait for the men. However, Lizzie, Ruth and Heather had other plans, trying to split the race, with Lizzie and Heather eventually getting a gap, with Jennifer Edwards from Rhos on Sea CC.
After about 15 minutes, the men eventually caught up with the girls, and Ruth, Lizzie and Heather stayed with the men for a few laps, which was a different challenge in itself, with one rider in particular seeming to think it was appropriate behaviour to ride in a random fashion in the middle of the bunch (it isn’t and he unfortunately was involved in a crash later on). Hmmm.
Anyway, the speed seemed to be quite high (compare to women’s races) considering it was a closed circuit with lots of bends, with an average speed of around 24 – 25mph. Eventually the random riding took its toll, with Ruth and Heather both eventually losing contact with the bunch. However, Lizzie managed to hang on, together with Jennifer Edwards, with impressive riding by Lizzie, which eventually saw her take second behind Jennifer, with Heather third, Ruth in fourth, Nicky Shaw in sixth and Nicola Fox in eighth.
The focus on today’s race was more of a preparation for the bigger events for all events, including trusty helpers, Fred Bamforth and Andy Turner (Heather and Ruth’s other halves respectively), who will be ably assisting the girls during the season.
Congratulations to all of the girls, especially considering the freezing temperature, snow and wind! Definitely a solid base to build upon! Many thanks also to Ed Rollason for braving the conditions to take our photos and to all of our sponsors!