The journey didn’t get off to a very good start. A vehicle was parked in my allocated space delaying me. At the airport I was forgotten about while waiting for my bike to be sorted out, so I lost my flight and had to wait five hours for another – causing an early morning arrival and little sleep before the race.
Breakfast over, good weather and a good warm up; but a bad race start because I was trapped behind a rider who failed to get going. This left me at the back of 170 riders!
I worked hard to get to the front pack doing speeds of 32 mph, then a rider flipped his bike at 30 mph and I almost lost it I went onto two wheels trying to avoid him. Regained control and heard many voices behind me as a mass pile-up ensued. Lost time again and put much effort in to get back to the lead group. Eventually some of the lead riders lost energy while I powered up but, due to all the hard sprints I had to do, my arms were feeling the pace at the end of the race. The rider that crashed next to me ended up in the back of an ambulance, and his face looked a real mess. Handcyclists really tough it out!
I came fourth – which was miraculous given such a bad start and an eventful race, and I covered the Marathon distance in one hour twelve minutes, which is the fastest a British rider has ever done.