Isle of Man Youth Tour event, cyclist, Thea Aitken's Race Report

May 08, 2019

Isle of Man Youth Tour event, cyclist, Thea Aitken's Race Report

everactiv ambassador, Thea Aitken, participated in the Isle of Man Youth Tour over the May bank holiday weekend. It's a three day stage race on the roads of the island and is  part of the British Cycling’s Youth Circuit Series and Junior Road Race Series. She's written about her three day experience and what a great read it is! Thanks for sharing this with us Thea, sure you've inspired other young athletes to take part in the event next year and a massive well done on your race:

Friday 3rd of May, first race day. Isle of Man Youth Tour.

It’s the first day of racing in the Isle of Man Youth Tour, and today I am going to do a time trial. Right now I am setting my bike up so I can try out the course for tomorrow, and after that I will go to recce the short 1.6km (1 mile) course for today’s time trial. The course for tomorrow is 7.2km, and we start at the bottom of a steep 1.1km hill. Seems like nothing, but once you are on it it feels really long! Once my dad and I reached the top, I breathed out a sigh of relief, and then we turned left and continued cycling round the course and down a fast descent until we turned the tight corner to go up the hill again. After cycling back to the car, I loaded my bike on to the back of the it, soon my mum arrived with our dog and my little brother. Now we are all in the car, and dad is driving us to the place where my brother and I are doing tonight’s time trial so we can see what the course is like. Once we arrived we all piled outside. I grabbed my bike from the car and I pumped up my tyres. Once we were all ready, we walked down to where the race starts, and cycled up the gradual ascent 2 or 3 times. At the bottom of the hill, it isn’t that steep, but it gets gradually steeper until it is quite steep. It’s evening now and we’re back for the time trial. After playing around for a bit, I got out my rollers and did a 15 minute warm up, and a few sprints. After that, I rode over to the start line, everyone was lining up, ready to be set off 30 seconds apart. 3,2,1,GO! I raced up the hill as fast as my legs could carry me, and 4 minutes and 37 seconds later I was panting at the top! After watching some more of the racing it was time to head to bed. I needed to get some rest for day 2. Saturday 4th of May, second race day. Isle of Man youth tour. It’s the second day of racing on the sunny Isle of Man, and right now I am playing with my best friend (Hope), Hope’s little sister and my little brother. It is only one hour before Hope’s and my race, and in about half an hour we will be getting on the rollers, and warming up. Now I am on the rollers, with Hope beside me, and we are doing small 6 second sprints and then resting for 20 seconds. Once we had finished our warm up, we went to the starting line, and waited for the under 10’s to finish their race, so we could start ours. 3,2,1,BEEP! We were off, and everyone was soon sprinting up the start of the steep 1.1km hill. As soon as I got to the top, I sprinted out of the corner and went down hill. Once I finished that tiring lap, I cycled up the hill again and finished my second 7.2km loop, only to have to go up the hill again! About 20 metres from the finish line I got up out of my saddle, and sprinted for the line! As soon as I crossed the line, I slowly stopped and leaned on my bike so I could support my tired legs. Now we are cycling back to the car to get warm again, and while I do, I look back on the day and decide that however hard I tried today, I am going to try harder tomorrow.  Sunday 5th of May, last race day. Isle of Man youth tour. After waking up early in the morning, I got changed, had breakfast and put my helmet and gloves in the car. We spent about ten minutes rushing around sorting things out, then we all piled into the car and dad drove us to the track where I was going to race. We rode round the small 0.8km course a few times, I got on the rollers and did 5 minutes going easy, and then got off so I could watch my brother race. Once he finished his race(under eights) it was time for the under ten girls to go. As they finished and the under ten boys started I got back on the rollers to properly warm up. As soon as I finished warming up I made my way over to the start line. I was right on time, the under ten boys were on their last lap and my age group was getting ready to go. The race officials gave us a last minute brief and then it was race time - 3,2,1,GO! The first lap was a blur, everyone was zooming around the track like their lives depended on it, and I was with them. On a few laps, I dropped off the group, but as soon as I saw them getting away, I sprinted so I could get back on the group. My team is me, Hope (my best friend) and two other girls. In each race the first three members of each team across the line get their times added together, and then once all three races are over then the team with the lowest overall time wins the general classification! Once or twice, Hope dropped off the end of the group and I pulled her back on, so I did my part in our team! On the second last last lap, I worked my way almost to the front of the group, and 20 metres from the end, I stood up in my saddle, and sprinted as fast as I could but it wasn’t enough to break free. I stayed in main group and as we raced to the finish it was a bunch sprint and everyone was really close together. I finished at the same time as everyone else and just 4 seconds behind the leader. I was really happy with my performance because it’s the first time I have managed to stay with the main bunch and also because I helped my team. Later, once all of the races were over, my team found out that we had won the team competition! I really hope that I come to Isle of Man next year, since I really enjoyed this year. Bye, Thea Aitken, Everactiv Ambassador
Follow Thea on instagram: @theaaitken

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