We were up just after 7am, breakfast was served from 6:30am but since Ali was in charge of food for the week we could afford to get up a little later. Then it was breakfast and I got my bag ready for the first day. Helped Ali pack up the car, she only had the tent left to come down by the time I went to the start line. Ollie and Joe used their bikes to transfer their heavy kit bags to the lorry. We all started just after 9am, each number being noted down so they knew who was on the course. I was feeling a little apprehensive at this point as I knew it was a long way to go till we got back to this campsite!
The day seemed to go well, I just kept riding steady and chatted my way round the course, some things never change! After 25km we reached the queue for the special stage to decide our starting times for the night stage. I queued for 40minutes in total, but fortunately it was sunny and there was a group of us having a laugh! The stage was unrideable really, I would have been better off trying to run it and route finding was nearly impossible!!! I kept on plodding around at trio pace, struggle a while with my back getting sore, but after a bit of stretching it seemed fine. I was back at 2:35pm, comfortably inside the cutoff times, but due to the fact that some people queued up to an hour and a half for the special stage they decided not to give time penalties. I still looked happy as I crossed the line.
Distance 69.8km (43.6miles) Average moving speed 14.8km/h (9.25mph)
Once I was back, Ali kindly queued for the bike wash while I grabbed a recovery shake (For Goodness Shake Chocomalt flavour) and got a cold shower. There was an advantage to being female as we had specific ladies showers, although the men were using them when they were empty as well.
The night stage that evening was 7km long and I was one of the later starters. I managed a time of 32:53 which left me in 5th in my category.