Gabby Day talks about the busy month of December and ‘Cross-mas, in her lead up to this weekends British National Championships. Her diary was originally published on her personal website.
It sure has been a very busy month of racing. The month of December or ‘Cross-Mas is always a crazy month. 8 races in 15 days. It is a tough period and it has been really important to rest and recover between each race. I have really enjoyed this block of racing and have had some really great result’s which has kept my confidence high leading up to the National championships.
The first race that kick started the ‘cross-mas campaign was Superprestige Diegem. A new race for me as it is the first year that Diegem has had a women’s race. The new rule of every C1 race having to have a women’s race has meant new racing opportunities for me. Diegem is a night race for the men, but for the women as is typical with all superprestige races the women race first even before juniors…that is how special we are! So the race started at the later time of 3.30pm. I loved the course, lots of road sections, some climbing, sand and some techy sections and mud. My race went great…better than I expected I finished 4th and was not far of 3rd. It was my best placing in a C1 race so I was excited and looking forward to the rest of the races. (Renner CX Note: This was her best placing in a C1 in Belgium; her 2nd best C1 placing next to Nommay)
After 2 days recovery and easy riding and a tasty Christmas eve meal with everyone at the Chainstay it was time for World Cup no.5 at Zolder race track. A course; that is not one of favourites. Mainly due to the fact that I have never seemed to have a good result for one reason or another. However this year that changed and I finally got myself a better result…I finished 15th, which I was happy with. I crashed hard on one of the main steep descents just when I was about to get on the back of the big group going for 7th…frustrating but that’s racing. The more frustrating thing is that when I crashed I hit my face and loosened one of my teeth, not a good thing to happen.
Now for the real intense block of day on day off for a week…The week started with GVA Loenhout my favourite race. I really like the circuit, it races well in any condition and I have always had a good day at this race. This year was no exception I had a strong race and was up in the front group all the way until the last half of the lap. It is a good feeling to be up in the lead and able to hold the wheel and take the lead in places where you feel stronger or technically good. I finished 6th, last of the front group but content that my form is there and I am riding at a good level.
So after a day of recovery riding, bike cleaning and a pre race massage I was ready to race another new race for me Fidea Cross Leuven. A completely new venue for everyone. I was really looking forward to having another good race and racing on a new circuit, however after pre riding the circuit I was highly uninspired and lacking motivation. The course was certainly not to my liking…but enough said on that! I also had the problem of very sore bruised muscles in my legs, even after a good warm up and a Holly massage the day before my legs were still terribly painful, so I knew the race was going to hurt extra! 6th position found me again after a reasonably good race.
Baal GVA ended the December block and was the first race of January and 2012. I was hoping to have a good race as I am in the top 6 of the GVA overall series, so it is important for me to have good GVA races. Baal was another new race for me; the first time that there has been a women’s race. I had heard a lot about this race so was looking forward to racing it.
In a few words the course is: Very muddy, technical and tough. And guess where I finished…?? 6th AGAIN! It’s becoming a habit. It wasn’t long ago that 8th became my habit. At least I am on the up again, so hopefully better results will become a habit! Race wise everything went great I was racing in the front group going for the win and I was feeling strong. It was just unfortunate that I crashed on the main technical slippery descent losing my chain in the process and losing contention with the group. I spent the last 2 laps on my own.
So that concludes my 2011 racing block…I am now back in the UK getting ready for the National champs which are on Sunday in Ipswich. I am feeling positive and confident coming into the race, racing has been going well and my form is on the up. Anything is possible it’s all about that one day and getting everything right on that one day. Maybe I will have my day on Sunday maybe it will be a Gabby day but we shall see…!!
Happy New Year to everyone and a BIG thankyou to everyone that has helped me over 2011…all my great sponsors and all the people that have helped and believed in me along the way, you know who you are! So here’s to a successful and healthy 2012.
Renner CX Note: It’s been a great block of racing with very strong and consistent results for Gabby. Good luck to Gabby at Nationals this weekend, it is set up for one very exciting race!