Peloton Watch
  Jessica Roberts Blog: 2016 Junior European and World Track Championships  
  July 29th By Jessica Roberts  
  On Saturday 9th of July I flew out with the British team to Montichiari, Italy ready to start my first European Track Championships, I was so excited! My boyfriend was racing as well and he lives in the Academy base in Montichiari so was really nice to get to see him as we don't see each other very often! My mum and sister also came out at the end of the week to watch the omnium it's always nice to have your family there.

Day one of Euros started with the team pursuit. We qualified fourth, just behind Poland, so we'd be riding against them for bronze in the final. All of us were really determined to get the bronze medal and our final went really well. We got under 2:40, which was our aim and beat the Polish team to take third. This was our first major event doing the TP together and to get on the podium was a great feeling and we were all so happy! It was a great way to start the week off :)

After the TP I had two days to prepare for the omnium, which started on Friday. I was excited to get stuck in. I didn't get off to the best start, which I was pretty disappointed with. I was seventh in the scratch and then sixth in the IP. I got a two second PB in that which I was quite pleased with but wasn't the time I was hoping for. The last event of the first day was the elimination, which went pretty well for me, just made a mistake at the end and finished fourth. I was going in to the last day fourth overall, not too far from a podium position.

The last day started with the 500 and flying lap. I got PB's in both these events so was really happy with that. I placed fourth in the 500 and third in the flying lap. Going in to the points race I was 22 points behind third and 24 behind first and second. The points race is one of my favourite events so was really looking forward to it. I knew I needed to gain a lap if I wanted a chance of getting on the podium. I waited until about half way through to try and gain the lap so everyone was a little fatigued. I gained the lap with a Dutch and Polish rider and this put me in third place. I then just gave it my all to try and win some sprints and bring my points up more. I won the last two and secured my third place. As a first year junior I was really happy with that but then was also quite gutted, as I was only four points off the win. But I've learnt so much this week and can take that on board to improve for next year! The next morning we left Italy to travel to Switzerland for the World Championships.

The World Championships kicked off on Wednesday with TP qualifying. The track was 200 metre, rather then 250 so felt pretty different. We qualified fifth which we were quite gutted with as we went slower than we did at Euros. The next day we would ride against Japan in the second round to try and gain a place in the bronze medal ride off. It was all going really well and we were on target for a PB, until we caught the Japanese team and they're first rider changed and took out Lauren Dolan in our team. We were gutted. But we didn't want to just leave it there, so we asked for a re-run which we did about 20 minutes after Lauren got taken out!! We went out fighting, gave it our all and qualified fifth. We then went on to secure fifth in the final.

On the same day as TP qualifying I had my points race. This was my big aim for this trip. I got through qualifying okay and was through to the final. I didn't have the best start in the final, and my positioning was bad in the sprints and wasn't picking up the points I wanted. I tried a number of times to get away and a gain a lap but just couldn't get away, and then I tried one more time and managed to get it and move up to third with two more sprints remaining. I gave it my all in the last two sprints and came away with a silver medal, three points from the win. I was super happy with second, but there's always that bit of disappointment being so close to the win. Hopefully I can come back next year stronger and with more experience.

After the points and TP my racing was meant to finish, but the morning of the IP my coach told me I was riding it, which I originally thought I wasn't doing. It was a bit of a rush to get things ready to leave but got to the track with plenty of time. As I was a bit disappointed with my time at Euros I really wanted to try and better that time. I rode it a bit differently to how I usually do and it paid off. My time was 2:26.957, three seconds faster than at Euros, so I was really really happy! It ended the whole trip on a high!
 © 2016