Sheffield Hallam Uni and Rutland CC hosted their first ever open event at the Forge Valley circuit in Sheffield. Otley CC had representation from Helen Goldthorpe and Claire Sharpe. Helen tells the story of the race.
This was a much harder race than York! It was a 45 minute 3/4 race and the majority of the field were 3rd cats. They confused me by having a neutral start which I’d never done before in a crit, and by going clockwise with two right hand hairpins per lap – I’ve never done right handers before! The start was very fast and within a few minutes a group of 11 3rd cats had formed at the front, with all the 4th cats shelled out of the back. I ended up joining up with another rider and we rode the majority of the race together taking turns on the front. I tried to take the opportunity to practice following a wheel through corners. With about 12 laps to go she started missing turns and with about 8 to go she couldn’t hold the pace any more so I rode the rest of the race solo for a bit of TT practice. I ended up coming in 11th (one of the group ahead crashed out) but importantly (to me!) I wasn’t lapped. I was also the first 4th cat to finish. Nice to see another OCC woman, Claire Sharpe riding her first race too.