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  • Writer's pictureIzzy Escalera

Season finale

Some catching up to do...

My month of September began with the Spanish track championships, that took place in Valencia. I had turned down the opportunity to be a reserve at the European Elite track Championships, for the alternative to train for the national championships. So I spent the earlier weeks really focussed and motivated.

Out of the four races I took part in, I podiumed in three, and gained two U23 titles. But the one I targeted most and was most pleased about was the individual pursuit where I came second elite and first U23. I had done some work focussed on pacing and I managed to get a PB too, so I was really happy. Among the other races I did, I made a lot of tactical mistakes, but I still managed two thirds in the scratch and points. A successful couple of days in my first Elite championships.

Later in the month, I also raced in the Trofeu Internacional de Barcelona and I came away with a tenth in the omnium and 5th in the Madison with Laura Rodriguez. Not the best results in the earlier races in the omnium but I think I compensated myself by taking a lap in the points race.

This was directly followed by a training camp in Valencia, where the federation decided who would go to the World championships, in Paris. A good week for me confirmed me a space!

Then, to begin October, in preparation for Worlds, we had a well needed camp on Spain's only indoor wooden track in Mallorca. Goal was to get a bit more of a clearer idea of lap times and gears. I found this so beneficial, as although riding on the concrete is good training, having practiced the TP together on the wood too, made us feel that bit more prepared. It was my first training camp in Mallorca and I loved every bit of it! The hotel and its location just a couple hundred metres from the seafront, just made it that much more enjoyable. The only negative, was that I came into the camp with a heavy cold. I initially thought it might be covid, as I was faced with similar effects of the cold and poor performance but a negative test led to a sigh of relief. The poor legs meant that I couldn’t show my capabilities and ultimately denied me from competing in anything other than the TP. But day by day, I could feel myself getting stronger.

Race day finally came at the World Championships in France, and I felt a lot more cool and collected than I did at my first Elite competition in the Glasgow’s Nations Cup earlier this year. I felt ready. We were prepared. We didn’t have unrealistic expectations and we knew exactly what we had to do - just repeat what we had done in training. I knew my legs felt great and the track was fast so when the countdown ticked down, I felt so motivated to give everything I had.

We started off well, lap times a little faster than planned but the track felt good. Sadly, the times were heavily affected when a change in speed at the front of the team and a domino effect through the line, led to a crash at the back. Now with a missing rider, our whole lap plan was screwed, as the girl that was due to pull out had to then stay in. We improvised but our lap times were much slower. I felt so disappointed because I knew that in my legs I had so much left to give. Unfortunately, this was the only race of my championships so the next day, I was back home. Despite the circumstances, we did manage a new national record and are showing promise for the future.

I can't thank the Spanish Federation enough for giving me these opportunities to race, my coach, Cesar, for getting me to these races in my best shape, and then Pedal Potential for funding my journey!!

My season has finally come to an end and its time to physically and mentally reset, to be ready for this winters training.

A mixture of highs and lows, but overall I’m taking away a year of new experiences on the road and track that I can learn from. I didn’t get the results that I had hoped for and got struck with bad luck, catching COVID days before my biggest goal of the season. However, being given the opportunity to race with the Elite national Spanish track team this year has been amazing. Turning up to the same races as the worlds best has left me striving to achieve more and come back stronger next year.

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