‘I signed up almost a year in advance, tempted by closed roads and with the idea that I would have an incentive to train for something over winter’
The Tour of Cambridge was an event I signed up for almost a year in advance, tempted by closed roads and with the idea that I would have an incentive to train for something over winter. It’s an 81 mile closed road Gran Fondo race or sportive, with different age categories to compete in. Those within the certain top percentage of their age category then qualify to compete in the amateur UCI World Gran Fondo championship. I had entered the race category, you need a race license to compete in this but can also qualify for the worlds in the sportive category too.
… the day of the race came and that year I had only ridden one ride of that distance prior that year, whoops!
My plan was to train on club runs and get used to riding the longer distances, that didn’t quite go to plan as instead I was riding mainly shorter hour circuit races to try and get points for my cat 2 licence! So the day of the race came and that year I had only ridden one ride of that distance prior that year, whoops! I also was flying out to the alps for the annual Tri La Tania training camp the following day so it was a busy few days of preparation.
‘The Cambridge and Fen area is relatively flat, but this then brings the challenge of a big open space and the wind making things harder.’
Riders were set off in groups of age category, with all of the men’s groups first then followed by the women’s with a time gap in-between. Our group worked together well, at times forming a chain gang with some riders pushing more on the hills. I tried to sit in and conserve energy aware that this was to be a long day on the bike for me, although admittedly ended up riding a little over enthusiastically near the start! The Cambridge and Fen area is relatively flat, but this then brings the challenge of a big open space and the wind making things harder. By the time we had hit the Fens the group had splintered, mixed in with other groups and it was hard to keep track of where I was in the race of my age category. For some time I found myself solo chasing, groups passing through were too fast for me to sit in and it took some time to find a passing group which were a suitable pace.
The last twenty miles were tough, I was starting to feel really tired and had ran out of water. Take larger bottles next time as I definitely wasn’t stopping before the finish! It was a hot day and I finished feeling pretty exhausted. All ready to fly to France the next day to spend the rest of the week climbing mountains!
Riding on closed roads with that many cyclists was amazing…
This is an event that I really enjoyed. Riding on closed roads with that many cyclists was amazing, the atmosphere and the crowds were great, with many lining the streets of the villages on route cheering and shouting support. I was pleased to finish 11th in my age category, 22mph for 81 miles which I was pleased with. I qualified for the UCI championship in Albi France but decided not to take part this year, definatey one for 2018 though.
Lucy | Love Velo CC