Alice Cobb checks in from her first race of the season:
10 days in to my 2 week training camp I headed to Santa Eulalia de Rocana in Northern Spain for a 90km ‘training race’ with the French team – Languedoc Roussillon Le Boulou.
With over 600km in my legs since leaving England I was unsure how I would fare but excited to be pinning on the first set of race numbers to my Matrix jersey.
The women’s race was run alongside the junior boys and so the opening 10km were pretty hectic as around 90 riders jostled for positions. It was certainly a welcomed sight to see the road ramp up and the climbing begin.
Cresting the first 6km climb I found myself clinging on to the back of the front group – the fast pace had whittled the peloton down to about 20 riders all of whom, bar me, were boys. Unfortunately, following a short but technical descent I lost contact with the leaders and had to settle into the second group on the road.
Myself and a Spanish rider were the only women left as we approached the second ascent of the day – a classic Vuelta-esque climb with a narrow and pot-hole riddled road snaking up a steep hillside. 3km later the second group had thinned down further and we began a fast 11km descent back into the starting town.
Unfortunately the speed and skill at which the other riders took the descent proved too much for me and for the second time of the race I began losing ground with each twist and turn before eventually complete contact.
I came home as 2nd female feeling a mixture of disappointment and reassurance. From a form perspective I was pleased to see my legs were in good shape but I was also frustrated to let the race slip away from me on the descents. However, with the training base in Limoux and the expertise of the coaches around me I’m in the best possible position to make the necessary improvements.
Roll on the next race!