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  • Writer's pictureIzzy Escalera

First road podium of the year

Since my last blog I have competed in two races on the road.

On the 6th of March I raced in Zaldibar, Bizkaia which was actually the first time I had ridden in the Pais Vasco for some time. The anticipated rain held off but we were still left with damp roads from the night before. A change to the route plan saw us reaching the climb earlier than expected. I ended up falling back and time trialing my way back until I was able to work with my team mate and reached the small group ahead of us with only 200 or so metres to go to the line. No results to talk about but it was a good effort from me and I have learnt that to avoid blowing up early on, I need to pace myself more on longer climbs.

Then, more recently, I raced in Tomelloso last Saturday but without the company of my teammates. Due to a change of plans, they decided to race somewhere else but it made more sense that I still went, having a shorter travel with an important track camp this week and also with the race profile suiting me more. So instead of my team taking me, my lovely coach dedicated his Saturday to drive me there, along with the company of my brother, who was visiting Spain at the time.

The 79km race consisted of 3 laps of an open and windy circuit, with a 5.9km gravel off road section. I was quite excited to do the race because generally there are not many women road races around that involve gravel sections in Spain. However, this is speaking in exception to the Copa España in Sueca, of which I am really looking forward to this year as I was restricted last year in showing my full potential on a course that I think suited me.

Some riders from Canyon Sram's Generation team were racing too so I made sure I was always near the front and watching out for any moves. However without a team, I had to make sure I went with the right moves and choose wisely. First time onto the gravel section, I made sure to be in the first couple of riders to miss any crashes and following Almudena Montalvo's wheel we gapped the main group. I was a bit hesitant in pushing on, considering we were only 7 or so kilometres into the race with a long way to go. Never the less we opened up the gap and in doing so I got a bit overexcited once we returned to the tarmac, leaving the other girl behind, but to then get caught and essentially passed, due to my lack of pacing. I made it to the finish, with a gap of around 3 minutes ahead of the group behind.

I was able to recover in time to make it to the Spanish track camp that took place last week in Valencia and have a solid week of training with some great people.

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