Jessie Hodges at Skoda Criterium Nationals
We recently asked Speed Works rider Jessie Hodges about her racing experience at National Criterium Championships earlier this month. Here is what she had to say:
"What an awesome experience the National Criterium was in Takapuna. I had done this race last year and dropped off half way through the race due to the pace being so hot! This year my goal going into the race was to be with the leading bunch until the end. I was able to achieve this goal!
I had a good warm up and was then on the start line with a stacked pack of riders! It was awesome to see so many talented girls around me. The butterflies were very large! And then we were off! 35 minutes of pain. During the race I hung on at the back for most of the race making it hard for myself because it was a very tight course so I had to work extra hard to get back onto the pack after every corner. I managed to stay in there for the whole race and finished 4 seconds behind the winner.
I learnt a lot after this race. Being so new to the sport, I don’t have a lot of knowledge on racing tactics and what to do in my preparations. I spoke to one of the girls after the race and she was explaining that she rode the course before hand and checked for pot holes, checked where the wind was coming from so that during the race she would position herself away from the wind so that she was protected. It made me realize that there is so much more to cycling than just turning up and riding your bike.
I will be able to put this into practice as I am doing the Taupo Criterium and road race, then competing at the Oceania Track Championships in Melbourne at the start of December. I am so excited to race against some of the best women in New Zealand and Australia. It will be a great experience! I will be focusing on my positioning during the races to better my results."
- Jessie Hodges
Photo Credit: Sportshub
- Geoff Short