Gemma Penman of the Johnstone Jets on the fine art of spotting potholes

Thursday, 7th May, 2015

Youth Tour of Scotland, 2015
We arrived on Friday 3rd April at Strathallan, quickly kitted up to go out on a recce of the routes for stage 1 and 4. From the recce we got a feel for the roads and an idea of what potholes to avoid.

The first stage was in Forteviot not far from the school we were staying at. This was the longest and hilliest stage but I was feeling ready with all the training I had done over the winter . I had a good starting position and was on the front of the bunch for the first climb, the bunch was moving fast but by the second lap I was in a group chasing the bunch. Once we got onto the second climb we almost went into the back of a crash where I could see that Jess was in the middle of and Ellie was running up the hill trying to get back on her bike. Coming down the hill on that second lap, the pace was high as riders from the crash were blasting it to get back on the bunch. Lusia and I were in a group with chasing riders, going up the climbs on the last lap everyone was gritting there teeth to give it there final effort. The pace was higher on the last lap so coming down the hill I gained some ground out of corners and was first across the line in our bunch finishing strongly with my team mate Lusia.

The next morning we had an early start to have breakfast and head into Perth city centre for stage 2 and 3. I didnít have a great starting position in the crit so further into the race I was on the wrong end of the bunch split. But I was working in a group that was chasing the first bunch. The group worked well together and I had a decent finish.

After a short break between the crits we had to get back on the bike. I had a bad start to the crit again but I managed to stay on the bunch for the race. I had to work round some bad wheels but I stayed on the bunch the whole race and had a strong finish in the bunch which would have helped my position on the GC.

The final stage I was dreading as I could remember it from last year. It was long, thin roads and a steep climb to the finish line. I had a better finish and worked around in the bunch. I went back wards in the bunch a bit on the climb but I managed to stay on for half the race. I was working alone for a bit but then I saw my team mate Ellie had got a mechanical so I let her get on my wheel and accelerated to get her going again. Ellie then got onto to jessís wheel who took her back to the bunch. On the final lap I was dying but I was working with a group, so on the last climb we sprinted to the finish giving it all I had left.

It was a great event to be part of, 4 stage races across 3 days on closed roads, I had a great time and as a team WoSCA worked well together. I would like to say a big thank you to our team manager Martin Mulholland and our sponsor Braveheart cycling fund for making it all happen.


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