Rosie on her new bike (and shoes and helmet and gloves - with a little
help from Phil Corley Cycles! and a lot of help from those F2P riders!)

Rosie’s training continue’s a pace and this last weekend saw a National Cycle Event up in Manchester. Unfortunately the event was put together at short notice and a lot of athletes/teams did not attend.

With a smaller field than usual this put some pressure on the riders as the events entered had to be altered to allow everyone to ride. This also coincided with the National Coach putting Rosie into longer events than she has been used too.

The event was held at Tameside Cycle Circuit at Ashton-under-Lyne, a superb 1k track and only about a year old. The rain that had persisted since Northampton eased and stopped as we arrived and the track started to dry out. With thunderstorms forecast the organisers where keen to get underway as the initial timetable had the event finishing at 8.30 in the evening.

There was a short briefing before the divisioning started. Divisioning puts like ability riders into the same group, therefore a bigger pool of riders creates more like ability races!

Unfortunately Rosie mistook her 5k divisioning ride (rode as a time trial) as a race and gave it everything she had. With the combination of the longer rides this effort would come back to bite her!

Special Olympic events ran from 500 meter right up to 40k, today though the events where capped at 10k and Rosie was entered in a 5k road race and a 10k time trial.

The 5k was a bit of a grudge match for Rosie with a fellow rider (Simon) pushing her into 4th at the National Championship in Leicester a couple of years ago. However those games are a week long and you ride three events in four days so each event is approached fresh.

The four riders sped off with Rosie powering ahead into the first bend and opening a bit of a lead over Simon and fellow Athens rider Leanne. However Simon never lost touch and over the next three laps they would swap the lead several times. The longer distance, the wind and the slight uphill slowly worked against Rosie and Simon opened a lead up and on the last lap Leanne pushed Rosie back into Bronze. Rosie came off her bike a quivering wreak as she had given everything - what more can you ask?

Rosie with fellow Athens bound athletes Alan (left) and Kevin (right)

Rosie was on her new bike, along with new shoes, helmet and gloves (the sunglasses will probably have to wait till Athens!) - this will all have been brought from the fund raising from the Flitwick to Paris ride. Rosie was also sporting a F2P top for the day.

Rosie had been told that she was doing two events so she thought she had finished for the day. It was therefore something of a shock when she was asked to ride a 10k event. It took some persuading but we got her to the start line. She was again competing against Leanne and also Alan who had to withdraw from an earlier 10k event as he had run out of energy and was weaving across the track. I had also agreed to ride with Rosie as an encouragement (although not allowed to speak or to ride in front). Rosie was ok for the first few laps as all the riders where tired and they stayed together but big gaps opened up as the ride went on. Rosie was delighted that she had ridden and to come away with a silver medal.

Rosie with her silver medal and Leanne (gold medal and the only other female athlete going to Athens)

We have leant a few things from the weekend even with a small event. Rosie can ride longer events and hopefully will be entered into the 3k time trial, 3k road race and 5k time trial come Athens.
She again met up with most of the GB team going to Athens, with whom she is starting build friendships. The event had a bit of a national feel with teams from Scotland, Isle of Man and Ireland all taking part. Next week seems the last training camp in Runcorn before final preparations for Athens. 

Ruth, ‘taking down’ Rick!

As there was a shortfall of riders some events which require a minimum of 2 riders where likely to be overlooked. In an effort to accommodate all the athletes they came up with something of an unusual event. Ruth is a lovely young lady from Central Group and rides a very nippy Pashley trike. Her event was 1.5k and they decided that I (I had my bike in the car) should do a divisioning lap and then do multiple laps to Ruth’s one and a half, they decided on 6! I was doomed to failure from the start and not helped by Ruth stating that I was ‘going down!’.
Ruth won.

I was however given a silver medal for my efforts and it’s already hanging with my Etape, Marmotte and London Marathon medals.

As we rejoined the motorway on the way home the rain started again and didn’t stop till we got to Bedford - how lucky was that!

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