It's been a long season for me, but (I think) it's finally come to a close. At least on the competition side!
It started with training last October. And continued through the dark and cold winter months (although there were a few nice warmer breaks in Majorca). I raced in the Track World Championships in March and went straight from there to the road. The road and TT season has been a long one – competing both locally and internationally – and fitting in all the training in between.
This past year I raced in Australia, Spain, Canada, Belgium and Italy (twice). Training camps in Spain and Ireland. Local races up to twice a week. And it has totally been worth it! (And probably the best year of my life.)
This past weekend saw me compete in the final TT of the year. The Rudy Project is a national series of time trials around the UK. It has the added benefit of having a disability category so I can compete against other disabled riders (instead of the able-bodies folks I normally ride against). I usually do OK against the 'regular' folk, but it's nice to go up against people that are a little more like... me.
The race had the added benefit (for me) of giving me the opportunity to wear my Rainbow Stripes in competition for the first time. I haven't had a chance to get some skin suits made up yet, so just wore the jersey over a white part of shorts. Although it meant giving up a big aerodynamic advantage, I really wanted to show off the stripes.
As it turned out (and as many off you will know), it was the hottest October day since records began! Good day to be wearing white, but still a scorcher nonetheless. Admittedly I haven't been on my TT bike in a while and my training as of late has been more focused on long, slow rides rather than the high intensity intervals that keep me sharp for time trialling. I was worried that I would have lost my edge and it would be a disastrous day.
In the end, I managed to win the disability category and honour the Rainbow Jersey (for the first of many times I hope). I even finished right in the middle of the able-bodied riders of my age group. Not a bad outing really - and a nice way to finish off the year.
I look forward to riding more of the series next year (and hopefully taking the overall title). I think it's great they support disability cycling and I want to give my support back in any way I can!
So - thanks to those that have followed me this year. It's been phenomenal. I am now starting my winter training again – and making the switch back to the track. The Track Worlds are in February in Los Angeles and I have a lot of work to do if I'm going to compete for a World Title on the track also. But that's my next goal... so stay tuned!