Beth’s YTOS 2015

(Last but not least!)

Arriving late (as usual) my mum and I got into Strathallan School when we saw everyone already in their kit. In a hurry we got parked and changed while my two team mates (Anna Shackley and Georgia Ferry) packed their things into our car. After getting changed we soon set off to do a couple of practise laps of the courses for stage 1 and stage 4 of the YToS with both WoSCA teams and the boys Glasgow Riderz team. After going round each bumpy course with the weather staying nice and dry we went back to our dorms to get showered and ready for a fire drill. With the fire drill a bit earlier than anticipated we had plenty of time to get down to the boys block for a Glasgow Riderz team meeting where we were given food and drinks for the weekend and our Glasgow Ridez t-shirts and jumpers. With most of the day over we went to a big theatre type area with all the other participants of the race for a briefing about what was expected of us and what we would be doing. Almost straight after the briefing we went for dinner with our team manager (Carlee Wilson) giving us some inspirational help for the weekend ahead. After dinner, unfortunately we still needed to clean our bikes so we quickly and efficiently cleaned our bikes in need of getting to bed (that didn’t necessarily mean going to sleep).

The next morning we were all up bright and early (more like dark and early) at 7am ready to take on the day ahead. We quickly got our kit on before going down for breakfast. After a (great) briefing from our TM about the day we went to the bike shed to get our rollers and bikes to do a warm up. Quickly enough we were all ready to start warming up so I led the BC warm up until we had to leave for the race. Once we got down to the start line we were told the race was delayed a bit due to a local bus not coming on time. I was a bit oblivious to what was happening until a gun was shot and everyone thought that it was to signal the start of the race as I saw jackets being flung all over the place but fortunately it wasn’t, it was to signal the local bus eventually coming through. As the bus went past there was struggle for people to try and get to the front but soon enough after everyone was in a orderly fashion the 22 mile road race begun. After a difficult start not getting clipped in and losing the bunch on the neutralised section I managed to get back with the bunch for a while. Once the pace increased Georgia and I got dropped but working well together we started catching some girls until unfortunately for Georgia  her chain slipped so then it was just me and two others we stayed together for a while then one dropped off and it was me and Eleanor for a sprint finish which I managed to win. After a very hard race I went back to the dorm with Anna and Georgia to have a shower. Once we were all showered we had a nice relaxing evening before going for dinner. That night we had the workshop to go to which was very interesting and I think everyone in my team learned something from it, especially me because I had to stand up and speak about our team in front of everyone. Once the day was over we all went to bed.

The next day it was an even earlier start as we had to head into Perth city centre for two crit races. I woke up at 5:50am thinking it was 6:50am however it was not as I soon found out. I opened my door to a lovely surprise of a Lint Easter bunny and a few chocolate eggs and after making my way down the corridor with Easter eggs scattered all over it I was changed and ready to go before anyone else was even awake. After all my team were ready we went down to have breakfast then came back to load the car with our stuff. After everything was in the car the decided to break down and Martin took us all to the race. Once we got the Gazebo was up and we were all ready to go we started our warm up. After what felt like the longest 35 minutes of my life when I got dropped from the bunch after 2 laps and was riding with 1 Irish girl and another, we went on to catch another Irish girl and not too long later 1 girl and I got dropped and worked pretty well together before the bunch passing us right on the main street and I was out by myself for the last 5 laps #hardwork. After our warm down we went and cheered on the boys until we needed to  warm up for the next race of the day. After the second which went much the same only I managed to stay in the bunch for longer and the crowds picked up as it was later on in the afternoon in the centre of Perth. I was so tired I thought I was going to fall  asleep on my rollers but soon enough after the disastrous crash in the boys race we were all on our way back to the dorms. Later on after having a shower we all went to go and have dinner followed by doing an Easter egg hunt. Then we all went to bed even more tired than the night before.

Sadly it was the last day at the YToS and we had to get ourselves packed and ready to leave our dorms before going down for breakfast. After everyone was ready we cycled up to the star line of the race where all of our rollers were . Once we had completed our warm up we went down to the start line for the 9 lap Kermesse. We waited for about 15 minutes before we were told that the race had been delayed so we cycled up and down the street before we were told that the race was about to start. This race was the hardest one of the weekend but I managed to stay with the bunch until it came to the big climb where I got dropped with two other girls. 2 laps into the race I took a wrong turn (not unusual for me) and got dropped from my bunch but luckily I managed to catch up with them but when they started putting on the power I lost them again as I had nothing left in my legs to keep up followed by finishing alone . After the final race it was the best feeling in the world knowing that I had just finished the YToS but also sad because I knew we would have to leave. After going back to our dorms, getting showered and packing the last of our things into our cars we went back to watch the boys race and cheer them on. Soon all the racing was over and we went back to the school to get our lunch before getting a debrief and watching the final podiums of the YToS. It was a bit sad needing to leave after a fun filled weekend with lots of racing. I hope to go back next year and race more competitively as this year I was mainly going for experience.

A big thank you to Neil MacLeod and Carlee Wilson for making the weekend so enjoyable for us and keeping us in line. Also thank you to Gail and Martin for helping us along the way and giving us transport to the race when our car broke down. Especially a thank you to Scottish Cycling for putting on this event so we could have such an enjoyable weekend and a final thank you to the Braveheart Fund for supporting our team.

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