Autumn Collins (Torelli – Assure) won the opening round of the Women’s Commission Intermediate League ( Rás Naomh Finian) in Clonard on Saturday. Read her Rider Race Report & insight, ahead of the An Caislean Nua Classic this weekend.
In Her Own Words:
“I was quite apprehensive heading into the first women’s race of the new season on Saturday (March 9th) as I hadn’t done a road race in quite some time, and I didn’t know how my legs would react to an endurance road event .
I had put in a good winter, so I knew I had okay fitness, but not having had a full race due to the cancellations in Tralee meant I was a bit unsure of my form.
When I entered sign on I saw a massive sheet of names. I actually thought it was a complete list of all the riders as in the rankings, I didn’t actually realise that this was the pre-registration sign on sheet.
The racing was quite aggressive at the start and after a while it settled down to a good tempo and every now and then a rider would try to get away, but no one wanted a break to go clear.
I think everyone had decided it was going to go to a bunch sprint.
The head wind on the way out also meant the bunch was a bit thinned out coming to the turning point, and after the turn it was a tail wind behind us.
It all kind of kicked off from this point, and with 4K to go I found myself right at the back which wasn’t ideal.
I had to do a bit of a push and I found myself on the second row of riders with about 2K to the finish, but Emma Porter (UCD) had got away and she was hanging off the front of the chasing field.
The main field didn’t look like they would reel her in before the line, so I had to kick off the Sprint early (Very Early for me).
I usually like to leave it till the last 100M, but I had to go for it to make sure I got there in time.
I managed to catch her with maybe 100M to go, but I had carried some people with me so she unfortunately got pushed out of a podium position.
The finishing Sprint had a tail wind so it was quite fast by any standards, but it was very safe especially with such a large volume of riders.
I was delighted to get the win and it was a weight lifted off my shoulders.
I had done so much work over the winter to convert from Track Sprinter to Road & Track Endurance, so I was feeling a bit under pressure to actually perform.
The pressure is back on now because next week is on in my hometown and the club organising it is the club that I started cycling with.
Next weeks course does not suit me at all, as it’s quite draggy with and uphill finish, and I would not consider myself to be a climber… so (again) I’m a bit apprehensive coming into it, but I am hoping to hang onto my leaders jersey.
Photo By John Hammer