After arriving in Brittany on Friday, I got straight into the race season, kicking off with Plaintel-Plaintel as my first race. It was a very ambitious one to start with, as it was a category 1,2,3, so there were a few national level teams riding, but it was good to throw myself right in the mix in order to get a real taste of what I will be doing for the year!
The race started off very aggressively, and I kept slipping back in the bunch, finding it very difficult to move up and get a good position. I managed to find my feet after about 20 mins and began to move up again, although at the expense of some energy. After about 15km, I found myself following an attack, and forming a modest group of 4 off the front of the bunch. I thought I should keep this going and see where it goes! If someone told me I would be in the breakaway today I would’ve laughed, and claimed I wouldn’t have the legs, let alone preparation or experience for that. But there I was, off the front. After 10km of riding in the break, we were joined by a few more riders, 2 from Côte d’amour, and various other DN1 teams. Our group formed to about 12 riders, which is actually counterproductive in a breakaway, because you will always get some people missing turns, and not cooperating as equally as everyone else. So then we started attacking each other, and after a while the break whittled down to 4 riders, including myself, as well as one of the Côte d’amour guys up the road, solo. We began working better, taking regular turns on the front and maintaining a fairly consistent pace, however I just didn’t feel as though it was strong enough, but due to my lack of experience I didn’t know any better and just kept riding through. Unfortunately, our little group of 4 got caught after about 40 miles, and just before we reached the finishing circuit. Once I was back in the peloton, I was trying to recover, but balancing it with staying near the front of the group, which was much easier said than done. I let myself slip a bit too far back, and consequently missed the winning move.
On reflection, I can be happy with my performance. I put myself out there and I took a gamble, which didn’t pay off. You can call it bad luck, or bad choice, but I am glad I did what I did today, because I learnt a lot of new things, and still put in a solid performance, as well as getting some TV time 😉 . I could look back and think I should’ve gone with the solo attacker who was joined by the winning break, because then I would’ve had a shot at the win, because I had the choice, but bottled it.
Now I am looking forward to my next few races with CC Plancoët, as I now know my form is there, and I just need to work on my tactics. I can also look forward to training here in Brittany, and enjoy a this new chapter of my life here.