We’ll have the full run down from this weekend’s National Points series final
as soon as they’re published, but in the mean time here’s the first race report from an
unfortunate Jenny Copnall.
I have just arrived back from the National Series Final held in Hamsterley
Forest in Co Durham. This race was run on an excellent course which combined
long bash road climbs with steep, technical and muddy descending.
Having sustained quite a serious ankle injury three weeks ago after slipping
on a wet step at work in the restaurant I was pretty pleased to be able to
begin this race. Basically I had bust a ligament on the outside of the ankle
and also torn a sinew which keeps the lower leg bones within their range of
movement. Since I went into the final in the lead I needed to start the race
to be able to get an overall in the series. However, with the best three rounds counting I needed to finish in first or second to improve my
points tally of 100. To win the series I needed to either finish in front of
Tracey Brunger and Louise Robinson, or for them to finish lower than top three
and top two respectively. Confused? Well, I had pondered this one prior to
setting out since I knew that the ankle would be very touch and go under the stress of racing.
After feeling good when pre-riding the course on Saturday I was confident for
Sunday although apprehensive about some of the muddy sections since any
running sections were very painful. After an excellent start in the race,
leading up the first climb I immediately ran into problems on the first
section where a short downhill had to be run. I simply couldn’t manage to do
this without jarring the injury. Falling back six places in 200 metres I
continued the first lap but knew that I was not going to be able to pull back
all these places when I was having to slow so markedly for certain sections.
Therefore the unfortunate game-plan came into action. Since I was well off
first or second and both Tracey and Louise were ahead I had no way of
improving my own points and so pulled out (in much pain) hoping that maybe
things would pan out in my favour for the overall.
With Tracey ending up second to Sue Thomas who took the win and with Louise
in third I lost my series win, taking second overall to Tracey. Obviously I
am very disappointed since without this unfortunate injury I think that the
series was wrapped up for me. Still, I cannot be too unhappy since I have had
a wonderful season both nationally and internationally and am positive for
next year and Commonwealth Games selection. Now I will be having a rest
before getting down to training for 2002.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my sponsors in 2001,
particularly the continued support of Berghaus and the wonderful new relationship which has been
forged with Bianchi bikes. Also
many thanks to Carol the physio at the British Olympic Medical Centre for all
her hard work to get me back on the bike after this injury. Finally thanks to
Michael at Ozzcroft cycles for his continued tolerance of having me meddling
around the workshop on a near weekly basis to set my bikes up to perfection.
Without you all I could never do this sport and I appreciate your help
Bye for now,