A race in a quarry?? Yes, a race in a quarry. Pretty far away too, so Ryan and me took the Silver bullet up to Monaghan on Saturday after doing a bit of a recovery ride together around our home mountains (one of the few times where we actually went cycling together! He says I'm too slow for any other rides :(). We did a bit of a hill climb effort to open up the legs for the race on Sunday and I did good - I really pushed myself. We skipped the pre-ride, it wasn't one of our A-races and besides, Ryan remembered most of the course from last year.
So, Sunday noon we arrived at the race place and did a practice lap, which took me 25min. The course was really flat with a few serious kickers and short steep downhills, dusty, dry, and very gravelly, some sections had really big stones on them and washing your wheel out was a danger almost everywhere. There was no let up the whole way. In my category there was only one other contender, Cait Elliott. As she had just returned to training from several months of travel without training, I was pretty sure that she would not pose any serious threat.
We two girls set off with the two Juniors on our 4 lap race and from the start on I tried to get away from Cait. She tried to hang on for a bit, but I was able to get away about a third of a lap into the race. I sticked on with the Juniors for a bit and was caught by the Experts pretty quickly, all ahead Luke Manning, who was showing his full potential, trying to make up in the NPS for his bad luck in the K Capital Cups.
And so the race went on pretty uneventful, apart from in my second lap where I fell trying to avoid a big loose rock in the ground and being caught by another, throwing me back first into the rocky ground - my whole back is covered in scratches!! At this stage I really need to apologize to Stew - this is the second race I fell in front of him and obstructed his way! And thanks to Luke Ireland for not riding over me when I couldn't get out of the way fast enough. I got back onto the bike and went on to finish my race in first position with a total time of 1:19:31, over 10 minutes ahead of Cait. That was a really short race - I think 5 laps would have been better, since the laps were so fast.
Full results of the race can be downloaded from here.
Ryan had a pretty good race too, also winning his race. He was very pleased with how rode and he'll be putting his report up here.
Some photos taken from Aine can be found here and somebody even took videos and cut together little clips, so here they are in order found on youtube:
Video 1 - covering Sports and underage races
Video 2, Video 3, Video 4 - covering Elite, Masters, Vets races
Oh - and I got a (farmer's) tan!! The weather was absolutely beautiful, albeit a little windy at times.
Roll on British NPS 3!