In her first column for trackcycling Ciara Horne headed home from Guadeloupe with a Euopean Gold medal. How would she do at the opening round of the 2014-15 Track World Cup Series in Guadalajara?
The team arrived with plenty of time to acclimatise to the 1556m altitude, which Guadalajara presented. With four track sessions prior to race day we were able to ensure that our line and changes were as close to spot on as possible for this track.
Race day arrived and the line up for the qualifier was; Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald and myself. We were delighted to have ridden a very smooth ride to qualify fastest by 6.5 seconds to our nearest competitors; New Zealand. The following day; in our semi-final; Amy Roberts raced instead of Katie Archibald who was busy racing the omnium! The team won the race against China for the Gold-Silver ride off which took place 3 hours post the semi-final. Three hours goes very quickly and before you know it you’re back on the rollers warming up again for the final.
The final: Great Britain vs Canada
We started more controlled than our semi-final ride and were soon gaining on the Canadians. Crossing the line having won my first world cup title was an immense feeling! Although, I must admit that I struggled getting off the bike and walking in a straight line…. I must have looked completely out of it as people were commenting on me looking whiter than usual- some said I looked grey! I insisted on going on the podium, but that wasn’t very realistic and instead I lay on the floor being given oxygen listening to the national anthem from there. I shed a tear as I was thoroughly gutted that I wasn’t on the podium, but I simply wasn’t in a fit state to get on.
The following day the girls re-enacted the podium for me and we had a picture together (as shown below). Overall, I have gained further invaluable international experience; this is the first time I have ridden three rounds of the team pursuit at 4km and I relished the challenge. Next up, I would love to be selected for the second round of the World Cup series; London.