Hannah June 2013

June has been a super busy month! Here is a short (ish!) summary of my racing: The race I look forward to most every season is without a doubt the Smithfield Nocturne. The atmosphere and standard of racing always make it an amazing evening to be a part of. And looking at the start sheet prior to the race on the night, I knew this would be the toughest Nocturne yet, making it all the more exciting! Having been called up to the start line first, I had a long wait whilst the rest of the field were presented. As I stood there my nerves built up, the five deep crowds hardly proving a distraction, with thought of trying to defend my Nocturne title against such strong competition weighing heavy on my mind. Amongst the field, households names from the Olympics such as Laura Trott and Dani King, started to line up alongside me.

In the end, it all went, nearly, to plan. Despite racing against eight strong Wiggle-Honda women, I managed to take the sprint in what proved to be a super close finish. It was absolutely amazing to take my fifth straight win in central London! Three days later I found myself lining up for another crit, this time in Woking for round four of the Johnsons Healthtech Tour Series. I felt confident going into the race of the back of Smithfield however two new faces from France and the US ensured I still felt very nervous lining up for the start. However everything seemed to fall away from the start, my nerves – as I attacked straight from the gun and then not long later my front wheel, sending me chin first toward the tarmac. It never entered my mind to pull out, simply to get straight back into the race and try to pull off the win for my MG-Maxifuel team. With the adrenaline rushing I managed to do so, taking my third win of the series in yet another sprint finish! Soon after the podium the pain hit me and it was off on trip to the local Hospital for nine stitches in my chin and lots of mummifying bandages, I must say a huge thanks to all the amazing staff at Woking Community Hospital!

After a few days of recuperation and some attempt to take in the frankly overwhelming amount of support I received from the crash, I was back on the bike. I knew I had to simply finish the last round of the series in Ayelsham to take the overall win, something I really wanted to do say thank everyone for all their support. However my main target was to simply not crash, a task made all the harder by the torrential rain on what proved to be a slippy and tight circuit. In the end the night proved a successful one for our team, taking the Individual, Sprint and Team competitions for 2013, with some Fish and Chips to celebrate our successful Tour Series campaign!

However, as is always the way, there was little time to mull on the success of the Tour Series. Barely a week later I found myself on the long drive up to Glasgow for the British national TT and road race championships. The week didn’t go exactly as I had planned and I came away pretty disappointed with my performances. After my success earlier on in the season, I had hoped to do better, however you live and learn and I definitely took some good lessons away from the National Championships. The Curlew Cup a week later proved the perfect opportunity to turn around my disappointment from the racing in Glasgow. After the nationals I had a few days off before returning back up to the north and the Women’s National Series in Newcastle. It was a great event, held alongside a men’s Premier Calendar race, with good support and a brilliant atmosphere. I managed to take the win from a breakaway that formed in the latter stages of the race, reversing the trend of my bunch sprint wins and capping off an enjoyable June!