In just 10 days I leave the UK for Denmark to start my tour ride in Copenhagen 2 days later, on the 24th of June – The countdown has begun.
This weekend it was the last of my big efforts before tapering and resting for that first stage. As always this week I have had training rides, and always wear my Tour 21 Kit, with pride making sure I am raising as much awareness as possible for our goal of raising £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia.
On Monday it was with Geoff and my niece Olivia who has now returned from America, her sport is swimming, but she certainly makes a good cyclist as well, easily riding away from Geoff and I on the hills and when coming down at speed, she is very confident – Geoff was very complimentary about her ability making me a very proud Aunt.
On Saturday a box arrived at home, as it did for each of the Tour 21 team, containing our official Santini SMS ride and off Bike Kit for the 3 weeks of the tour, which makes everything a little more real. Not only that a pack of coffee from our sponsors exhale coffee and a Booth’s cook book, courtesy of Booths supermarkets who are sponsoring the team this year after their Managing Director, Nigel Murray rode in the 2021 tour team. Nigel included a lovely letter telling us how to approach the upcoming 3 weeks, an inspirational message from someone who speaks from experience. The weekend was busy so I haven’t managed to try on the kit yet, so watch out this week for some updates on that.
Normally I would want to wear my Cure Leukaemia training kit, but this busy weekend I wore my V-Sprint Kit for the first time in a long while. The reason was a race weekend at the Tour of Cambridgeshire, when you race you have to wear your club kit. On Saturday it was a Ladies Team Time Trial with three of my fellow V-Sprinters, and on Sunday a 67 Mile race, a UCI qualifying event for a world championship event in Italy. Saturdays race was a relatively short 16 Miles, with Ali, who along with her partner Loz have given me so much support in my preparation and fundraising, my sister Lis, and Jenny (SportyBakes.com), who helps me with my in ride nutrition. In the team time trail only the first three riders count, but we were determined to start and finish as a team of 4. After 16 windy miles in 49 minutes we finishing 2nd in the ladies event, in a team of 4, with every rider playing their part in the performance from start to finish – a real team effort.
Sunday was a individual race, with my fitness boosted by all my training I felt very good on the start line, but did not expect to finish where I did. The race went off fast, and the average speed was soon over 20 mph. At a short hill 2 riders from younger age group went off the front and I went with them, but they were pushing on too hard for me, if I couldn’t stay with them until the finish line I was in danger of being left on my own, exhausting myself. With no protection from a group it would have been likely that I be overtaken towards the end of the race, so I dropped back in to the bunch, where I stayed until the finish line. After 67 miles it was all down to a sprint for the line, the gap of between 1st and 2nd was 3 hundredths of a second, less than 1 foot – I was the WINNER !!!
Part of my prize was a UCI winners jersey. I now have 4 kits to wear with pride. My race weekend started being cheered at the start of the Team Time Trial by Michael Hutchinson, a well known cycling journalist and former National Time Trial Champion, (Thanks to Loz for arranging that), It finished with me standing on the top step of the podium, imagining what it must be like for the pro Tour winners to stand on the Podium in Paris. Our ride is not a race for us, but a race to save lives, it will take the team work shown by the V-Sprint Ladies on Saturday, and each day all of the Tour 21 Team will be in first place, on top of the podium, not for what they have done on their bikes, but for the money they are raising for Cure Leukaemia.
What a weekend it was, one of the best in my tour preparation,…
4 Different Kits to proudly wear
3 Fantastic ladies joined me in the Team Time Trial
2 Races to test my fitness before our Tour21 ride
1 Race Win !!