About 15 strong girls lined up on the start line, the noteables Mary Rogers and Christine Foster (multiple past winner), plus many of the newly formed SKCC Womens Race Team. Unfortunately those from Prime Estate, including the defending champion Jo Hogan, couldn't be there due to racing the first of the NRS Races in Mersey Valley Tasmania. But as they say, you can only race who turns up on the day! I had my teammate Ingrid in the pack with me as she'd just converted to be a SKCC member that week, and it was good knowing I had someone to help out should I need it!
The race set off, with 45 minutes + 3 laps to look forward to, and as expected, Mary made a few attempts to get away, but was quickly shut down by the attentive bunch. Not many were willing to do much work, which was causing a little frustration up the front.
It was apparent quite early on that the race was going to come down to a bunch sprint, as everyone was riding for the win and there was no teamwork going on.
When the 3 to go sign was shown, the butterflies all of a sudden appeared in my stomach and I realised how much I wanted the win. I made sure to keep my position high up in the bunch, not dropping below 3rd or 4th wheel. Just after 2 to go, Lisa Coutts jumped on the front and began driving the pace, with me urging her on sitting 2nd wheel. Ingrid did a great job of making sure my wheel was clear and that Mary and Christine weren't getting ready to pounce. After the bell, Lisa was still driving the bunch, and with some more urging managed to lift the pace higher to ensure no one would come around. Remembering what my new coach Stuart had told me the day before, I timed my move just before the final corner and managed to get the jump on the rest of the field. Coming through that final corner and giving it everything I had, I knew the win was mine with about 10m still to the finish line.
It was a bit cheeky, but I celebrated before I hit the line, it was such a good feeling to get a win that I had wanted so badly, and to do it in front of the rest of the club and heaps of my friends was such a great feeling.
Next is to start the training for Road Season. Tour of Coleraine is first up, quickly followed by Tour of Canberra..
Wish me luck!