I got invited to join the team after disappointing results in 2018's British Transplant Games. I took the invite as a chance to step up my training and really see what me and my heart might be able to achieve. With the help of local friends I started training over winter and built towards the games in a way that I haven't done before. It was super fun and I found out so much about my physiology and I found the experience very therapeutic. Race day came round quickly in the end and standing on the start line I took a few deep breaths, thanked my donor for allowing me to be ready to make my legs hurt and steadied myself. The time trial was fast and technical, the course took in both sides of the river Tyne with a crossing of the swing bridge, 2 dead turns and a long hard drag into a head wind. I found myself smiling the whole time. It was the deepest I've taken myself since transplant and I was really pleased with my result. No medals this year... But I'm very happy with 6th and I can't wait to see what I can bring home next time.
The road race was held in Hetton Lyons Park, Sunderland. It was the best organised and most professionally run race I've ever been part of. After a few laps with the team to suss out the course we were quickly on the start line with a solid bunch of riders forming a group that would stay together until the finish. Around halfway in to the race, my steering went super light and I realised I'd punctured somewhere under the trees. Looking back it's gutting but I'm that moment all I thought was, get a tube and get back in the race. After limping back to the GB camp and pinching a wheel off a team mate (thanks Simon!) I jumped back in having been lapped. I tried to work as best as I could for my team mates but after a torrential rain/hail storm, some fantastic strategy from the Dutch and being ridden off the road on a corner the fatigue started to set in and I dropped off the group with a couple of laps to go. Keeping my head down I got into time trial mode and pushed for the line. 9th ain't too bad all things considered.
What a blast it's been... I wonder what next year has in store.