Cycling Weekly will have riders blogging throughout this year’s Johnson Health Tech GP Series, offering insight, comment and humour from the fast-paced proceedings.
This week, Matrix Fitness rider Jessie Walker talks us through the wet final round in Aylsham last Thursday.
Another year of the Johnson Health Tech GP Series is over, and it comes with a mix of emotions for me. The races this year have flown by so quickly.
Last year was my first year doing all the event in a team and I loved them. The racing was hard and fast but I actually surprised myself in a few events, escaping with two laps to go but getting caught in Woking then attacking off the front and bagging myself a third place in Stoke-on-Trent.
This year has been in a totally different league. The teams are so strong and it’s fantastic to see. The first three rounds of the series saw three different teams win the team prize which proves the increase in the depth of quality.
Thursday’s race in Aylsham was the last round of the series, and it ended on a high for my Matrix Fitness team as Gabby Day took the win.
Despite the seven-hour round trip, it was a great night. The usual schedule of rider briefing, warming up and riding round the course all took place then it was time to line up. With five minutes to go, as everyone anxiously waited on the start line, the heavens opened. Many ran for cover leaving just the true fans at the barriers.
The race started and soon was lined out. I kept myself to the front as I was anticipating a few spills early on. Despite not being able to see anything and hardly being able to breathe I’m glad it rained. It made it such an exciting race. Plus being a Yorkshire lass I’m used to the wind and rain so it didn’t bother me. There were a few crashes but I’ve heard that everyone is okay.
Gabby got away pretty early so that made my job easier as I just had to cover all the attacks. She did an amazing ride and I’m so pleased for her. We also rode really well as a team getting five in the top 11. I think working well as a team is very important in racing as not only is it more enjoyable but it also makes you try harder as it’s a joint effort and you don’t want to let anyone down.
These last few weeks have been pretty hectic as I am currently doing my A-Levels and in my last week of my exams so it has been quite difficult juggling my exams and racing but I’ve managed.
Now that the series is over my training will change to longer miles to prepare me for the up and coming international stage races. My next race on the calendar is the National Road Race Championships [this weekend] – 2013 is my first year racing with the elites as an Under 23.
To kick start my endurance training I’m spending a week in Newcastle with my team and staying in an actual castle. I cannot wait! I just hope it’s not haunted…
Johnson Health Tech GP series blog: Annie Simpson in Redditch
Johnson Health Tech GP Series blog: Hannah Barnes in Colchester
Johnson Health Tech GP Series blog: Louise Mahe in Stoke-on-Trent
Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2013: Coverage index