Alderney Baker report from Hetton-le-Hole
Sunday 17th April was the first round of the National Youth Circuit Series up in Hetton-le-hole in Tyneside. This was the first time I had raced this circuit, the longest race I’ve done and also the biggest field I’ve raced in so far with around 60 youth A girls.
The course was dry with only a few damp patches and the weather cloudy but mild. Due to start at 2pm, the race was delayed by an hour and cut short by a few laps due to an unfortunate incident at another sporting event nearby. Overall we had around 1 hour and 20 minutes of racing over roughly 46Km. The first lap of the race was neutralised behind a motorbike, unfortunately going at a fast pace it didn’t really settle the bunch down but caused riders to be more desperate to get to the front making positioning a lot harder.
Early in the race there were very few if any attacks, I managed to make my way to the front of the bunch and attacked myself. I didn’t manage to get away but carried on pushing the pace a bit longer. Throughout the race there were more and more attacks making the racing interesting, but these were quickly chased down. In the end it was clear the race would come down to a bunch sprint, meaning positioning in to the last corner was crucial.
Unfortunately I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and even though I managed to gain a few positions in the last drag up to the finish I rolled in in 22nd place. In every race there is something to learn, this time it is the importance of finding a position, keeping it and being in the right place for the finish especially in a big bunch. In a bigger field you realise just how important that is.