Ashley June 2012

Hi there readers,
This blog update is a summary of my racing and training that was done in June. This month consisted of me finally leaving 6th form, sitting my A level exams and racing some of the biggest races to date!

My priorities for this month were obviously my a level exams as you cant do much in life without an education these days, hopefully my hard work and revision will pay off and I will achieve the grades which are needed for me to go to Chester university!

My last exam which was also my most important one was the P.E exam which was on the 20th June. Anyone in the know will realise that the 20th June was also date for the National circuit champs, which I had also entered… It was a very stressful day for me, I went out for an hour in the morning before my exam but I was struggling to even just pedal as I had my exam in just a few hours. Thank god it went pretty well and now that was out of the way it was time to get my head in shape for the evenings race at Otley. It was good weather and luckily the rain held off for the national champs. I always knew the race was going to be extremely hard for me as I am only 18, and the majority of people who were riding have been riding the infamous tour series which had been broadcasted on national television. I got a good start to the race, surprisingly I managed to get myself into the top third of the bunch for the first 6 laps, which I may add were the fastest! But my lack of experience of racing at this elite level showed as I lost a bike length going over the climb up Burras lane. This bike length suddenly developed into 5 bike lengths and I started to slip back through the bunch. I lasted another 2 laps towards the back of the bunch but it is true what they say, it is much harder at the back of the peloton. I soon slipped into the point of no return and then I was spat out of the back.

I was kicking myself afterwards because I knew deep down the bike length that I let slip, I could have made up if I was on the ball more. But at the end of the day, I accepted that it was the National crit champs and that for some riders, it will make their career to win this. Full credit to Scott Thwaites for winning the race though, he has been riding immensely all season and he is a great guy to chat to. A true champ who hopefully will move on to bigger and better things next season.

The other big race of this month was the Brighouse crit which was the first round of the National circuit series. I was looking really forward to this race as it is local to me and it has been resurrected after 2 years of it not been run. It is a pretty simple course but it does have some tight bends in it which suits my style. I had it a fairly descent start but the race rocketed off in the first third which put me on the back foot after an improper warm up. I managed to ride myself into the race with other riders which formed a group. We managed to catch the main bunch back up, but the race was over as the front 6 which had broke away lapped the field! I was feeling good though all through the race and I finished my first elite crit and came about 35th. Hopefully the only way is up after this as I will be racing Colne & Sheffield in July. Keep tuned in for next months report!