Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bagging a Birthday win at the UCI World Marathon Series

Lucky in France again! We finished the 2014 season with a win at the UCI World Series Race, La Forestiere (FRA) in September. This year we started the 2015 season last weekend with another French victory at the UCI World Series Race, Roc Laissac. This marks my 14th UCI World Series Race win over the last few years :)

There were a couple of moments when I thought we were not going to make it to the start line though. First our flight from Manchester to London was delayed meaning we would miss our connection to Toulouse. That turned out to be irrelevant though because the London to Toulouse flight was cancelled due to the air traffic control strikes in France. We had an 8 hour delay in London before being booked on to another flight to Toulouse which was then also delayed. When we finally arrived in France the car hire company had closed for the night. C'est la vie! We finally arrived in Laissac 24 hours later than expected.

Roc Laissac has become known for it's cold, wet weather and muddy, technical trails. Although it lived up to its reputation as far as the trails are concerned, the weather certainly did not! Bright blue skies and 20+ degrees celsius was our reward.

The race on paper doesn't appear to be a toughie - 66km with 2200m of climbing - but the constant short, steep climbs start to take their toll, sapping energy and the technical descents mean there really is no recovery. It's the kind of course I like. Taking the lead early on in the race meant that I could focus on gradually extending the gap to France's Helene Marcouyre. After a little over 4 hours of racing I could celebrate another victory and my birthday at that the same time. Triple desserts and extra French cheese and wine for me.

We arrived home with only one delay. Spring is here now and that makes the Peak District in England a mighty fine place to be, especially because my cat lives here :)

Next stop: Scotland for the National Marathon Champs in a few weeks where we'll get to race on some of the finest trails in the Scottish Borders.

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