National Youth TT Championships, 14 Sept 2019

On Saturday, I competed in the National Youth TT championships. This was the second year that I have competed in this event but also my last time in a national youth event. The race was held at Croft circuit near Darlington and the circuit suited me well; it was mostly flat and had a few technical places with chicanes and hairpin turns.

I looked at the weather the day before and it was set to be ok conditions with a moderate wind. However having completed a lap of the circuit as a warm up, I soon found out I was facing a ridiculously strong headwind and crosswind. I decided to swap my front quad spoke wheel for a deep section wheel, as it had less surface area for the wind to catch on in the crosswind. Although the conditions weren't favourable, it was the same for everyone.

Before starting, I was disappointed with the conditions and knew it was going to be a long and hard ride. I decided that my best way around doing well, was going to be pushing more on the places where I knew people would be slowing down and feeling like giving up, such as the headwind section and then taking it easier on the tailwind section where you can only go so fast anyway as there is a corner at the end. I also knew that this event was about position and not about my time, so thinking about that really motivated me.

In total, there were almost 5 full laps. The most annoying thing was that only 3 of the laps had the tailwind section as the first and last lap ended/started before this section. Although it made it harder, it was the same for everyone.

Overall I was disappointed with my actual time, but this was expected with the conditions I faced. I was however very pleased to come away with 3rd place in my age group and 5th girl overall. Last year I placed 6th in my age group and 17th girl overall so was pleased to be ranked much higher up this year. Looking back, it's motivating to see how hard work and training pays off especially in events like these.

Izzie Johnson

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Tim PhillipsTT