Newly crowned European Team Pursuit Champion Ciara Horne joins the trackcycling team and reflects on her experience in France’s most southerly departement…
Yes, you read the title correctly, the European track championships were held in Guadeloupe, Caribbean. The track itself; a 333m concrete outdoor would provide a new challenge as it was completely different to our usual 250m wooden indoor velodrome.
Picture courtesy of and copyright Roberto Bettini/UEC
We arrived in the Caribbean with a few days to prepare and as pre-warned (rain season at present in Guadeloupe) it rained… and rained… and rained some more. So the first day was a day on the rollers but, thankfully, the following two training days were dry and gave us an opportunity to try out the track and get some team pursuit efforts in. The track itself was bumpy and the wind direction was something we needed to take into consideration as a team; we didn’t want the same rider having a head wind every turn.
Photo courtesy of and copryright Wim Hoste http://cyclephotos.be
Race day arrived and I proudly supported my teammates; Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell in the qualifying round. They performed exceptionally well to qualify fastest by 4 seconds to the closest team; Russia. The following day; I raced in the semi final and final. What an experience! I loved every minute of the racing and crossing the line first with the girls was an experience I shall never forget. Equally, hearing the national anthem on the top step of the podium was an experience I will never forget; it brought a tear to my eye!
Overall, the experience was invaluable and I’m very excited to announce that I have been selected for Mexico World cup in 2 weeks!