Imogen Buick reports from her first race of the season

This weekend was always going to be exciting, and it definitely did not disappoint. I was eager to arrive early so we left home at 8am for the relatively short 3 hour journey to Sherwood.

Arriving at the arena we parked the motorhome up behind the easy-ups and jumped out to say hello to Team Manager Mike and to meet Erica, our American rider, for the first time. The kettle was on, I was given a massive bag of kit, and it was going to be a good weekend, despite the fog that seemed to have decided to join us.

After many introductions, chats, Erica getting used to Anna and I, and as yet without the arrival of Ruth, Erica and I headed out for a practice lap. Admittedly we spent most of chatting, getting to know each other, and slipping about due to the new shorts and saddles combination!

The XC Eliminator was our entertainment for the evening with Erica flying the Moda-BikeMagic colours and doing an admirable job against the boys.

Race day

Sunday morning and I was strangely more excited than nervous for once. A lot of muesli was consumed, bottles were made and before I’d even thought about it, Magic Mike had my bike sorted and ready to go! After a pretty (in my opinion) professional looking warm up I headed to the start, which, conveniently, was just outside the tent.

Very pleased with the idea of only having to do 2 laps, I got off to a good start and settled down behind Alice Barnes and Beth Crumpton. The first part of my lap was pretty uneventful until I decided that I needed to have a little lie down in a gorse bush (I only knew it was gorse when I got home and had to extract a million little thorns from my leg).

After that I got back into my rhythm and tried to carry on where I left off: loving the tight singletrack, thoroughly enjoying my new bicycle and hurting. A lap to go and I was 4th behind Alice, Beth and Becky Preece. This is how things stayed for the duration as I tried to kill myself for another 25 minutes. Becky was insight but stayed ahead as I finished, happy with the race and trying to show off my new kit as much as possible. High fives all round while we waited to see Erica and Ruth cross the line in 11th and 18th place respectively.

It wasn’t even lunch time and us girls were finished for the day. All in all a top weekend and I cannot wait to spend more time with Ruth and Erica. I’m guessing the drive to Houffalize for the RockyRoads.net UCI World Cup in 3 weeks will see to that.

Imogen Buick

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