I write this after a 90 minute power nap! I tell people I’m more often in bed than I am on my trike but honestly, I’ve earnt it this time; the fatigue from my first World Cup (Thursday 18th-Saturday 20th) is beginning to hit me. The first bit is the boring cyclist’s race download and then I go all Hannah and tell you some fun facts about me and the competition that aren’t so run of the bike factory.
So, I showed improvements since Rio in both races in terms of power and race pacing, yippee. John (my coach) and I, had a great time analysing my data. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to improve upon but we were both really proud of my ability to absolutely mash myself into the ground, in a measured, meticulously paced manner. Despite the mashing and the good powers from my twisty legs, I came 5th. 2 days later I switched my target from power to person and improved my position to 4th…turns out I had some tactics up my snazzy Le Col skinsuit sleeve and outsprinted my competitor in the road race. This is all thanks to Team Storey who made sure I could be there, with my coach, in beautiful kit!
So…the kit was a dream…no news is good news in terms of a nice and comfy chammy pad with On the Rivet cream; protecting and lubricating well so far! My favourite ‘kit and me’ anecdote involves the Kask Aero helmet I got to wear for the TT. I’ve constantly had trouble with aero helmets because I have a very wide, flat head (Stewie style…from Southpark?) …and ears like Dumbo. I assumed all aero helmets felt like a deepsea diving exploration, head-squeezed and unable to hear the cheers from spectators, with odd bits of foam stuck in the gaps to stop the helmet slipping, while you slowly asphyxiate. No longer! The Kask Bambino has me reborn. It’s so light and bendy it fits to any cartoonish skull shape and has space for big ears, so I highly recommend it. It doesn’t stop the lung melting feeling you get in the 30th minute of your effort though. Also, sticking the visor on magnetically is extremely satisfying- I did clip it into place more than was necessary but they say practice makes perfect.
The people I race against are almost all about thirty years older than me and taller and bigger. They’ve got a lot more cycling years on me and a bigger muscle mass but they provide a perfect draft! Therefore I often spend a lot of time drafting them, staring at many a Lycra glad bum. Good, tinted eyewear is perfect to take the glare off but also to give you a slight gangster look that adds cred against all these wise, knowing women. So thanks, Adidas Eyewear.
Next up is nutrition, Secret Training and Veloforte EAT MY HEART OUT. Spirits and sugar levels have never been higher. They did also have custard filled doughnuts at the race hotel… unfortunately custard doughnuts can’t neatly pack away in a jersey pocket but Veloforte energy bars do! You also taste like Christmas, Veloforte, well done you. And Secret Training, I didn’t bonk in either the TT or the road race and had energy at end for the biggest sprint of my life. In conclusion, it’s got to be you two (and maybe a doughnut carbo loading session…because nutritional supplements should never stand in for real food)!
Even with the best kit and nutrition everyone needs a team! The Storey Whatsapp group kicked of a storm on my race weekend, personal best powers from loads of riders, wins vs arguably more impressive crash injuries. It felt natural to join in with my own personal best race performance (rather than a bone-splintering crash) and be part of a successful and passionate team! I was my best self and part of the best team! In one fell swoop managed to match my socks, hair, kit and bar tape but I also looked like a superhero with my gold rimmed heartbeat logo. To be included is a powerful thing, so thanks chicas. I had a wonderful time at my first world cup this season and can’t wait for my next one at the beginning of July.