We’ll get full results up as soon as they’re confirmed and published but Jenny Copnall of Team Bianchi wass obviously too excited to sleep as we got this report first thing;
Well, first things first, I bagged the bronze medal today at the National Champs which were held in Bringewood Forest which is on the outskirts of the Shropshire town of Ludlow. Held in dry, warm but overcast conditions the women’s elite race had all the top riders present except for current
National Points Series number two, Tracy Brunger, who was unwell with food poisoning.
The course was made very taxing with the very sticky conditions. The first half of each lap was basically climbing while the second half included some good technical sections which were made more fun by the recent rain!
Our race set off at a good pace, and after initially tangling with Caroline on the start I got going & quickly settled into fourth before passing Victoria Wilkinson (WCPP) into third. After about half of the climb I could see Sue Thomas, who was in second behind a storming Caroline Alexander. I managed to catch Sue by the top of the course but decided not to pass her at this stage, instead I stayed on her wheel for a while to see how she was going. Fresh back from lots of racing with the performance plan in the US I knew she should be going pretty well. So, Sue & I ended lap one together & rode to the top of the course again.
This time, however, I decided to test her with a small effort into the downhill. By the bottom of the course I had a 30 second lead over her which proved that so long as I could match her climbing I should get the silver. Sue realised this too & put in a big effort on the climb on lap 3 & suceeded in dropping me. I was, however, confident of catching her on the descent. But, on the descent my bike did not seem to be handling too well!! This slowed me a little & on lap four (the final lap) I seemed to be cramping in my arms! This has not happened before & I was really beginning to tire. Again on the descent I was fast but the bike still felt odd, with the suspension “bottoming” more than usual. I crossed the line in bronze position &, since I came here with a medal of any colour my aim, I was happy.
It was only once I stopped that we took a look at the bike & found that one of the cartridges on my suspension forks had blown, hence my sore arms!! Obviously this was both very unusual & unfortunate. It is difficult to say how much time I lost because of this problem but undoubtedly it affected my progress a little. I certainly felt that I had the measure of Sue in the first two laps so who knows – perhaps next time we meet I’ll be able to re-assert my authority!
This is my fourth National Championship medal & each one has felt very special. Last year I only managed 7th so it has seemed a while since I last stepped onto the podium! Certainly I seem to be going well this year. Now I hope that my form can remain for the final of the National Series in September. A win overall in this would be fantastic! I now have a short rest before travelling to the Alps a week on Thursday where I will be racing two World Cup events.
Look forward to bringing you more good news,