Metres From The Line

· 2 minutes read

It’s time to enjoy the last few days of being a junior, starting with a week representing the south region in France and then the prestigious Junior Tour of Wales, before preparing for the U23 ranks.

Before that, let me summarise my experience at the national championships, where I came close to finishing in the top 15, but was stopped just metres from the line along with two other riders.

My form leading up to the championships was promising, with a 3rd place finish at my local crit in Bath, followed by a minor win at the Dursley Road Club TT and a personal best. However, the national championships didn’t go as well.

The journey to the championships was fairly smooth, and I arrived at the HQ a day before the race to receive the course details. The prep school where the race was being held looked more like a stately home than a school. The course itself had a few small drags around the lap and a final kick 3km from the finish, but nothing too defining.

Later that evening, we had some trouble finding our Airbnb due to poor directions, but the accommodations were great and the breakfast menu was even better.

Race day was beautiful, with blue skies and perfect racing weather. After parking, we found ourselves next to some good friends, which was a bonus. After a warm-up and pre-race briefing, the race started and a solo rider immediately went away. The race continued with groups going away and being brought back within a lap. I saved my energy for a move within the last lap, and after avoiding two crashes, I was in a group of four who got across to the final break. However, the favourites had already snuck away, and the final climb proved decisive. I positioned myself for the sprint, but just metres from the line, I had to slam on the brakes to avoid a crash and ended up tumbling into a hedge, ripping my shorts. Luckily, the only damage was a flat spot on my tyre, but I was extremely disappointed to be taken out so close to the finish.

Next up, I’ll be catching three trains and a bus to meet with the south region for 12 days of racing in preparation for the Tour of Wales.