After leaving the feed station at the halfway mark, it took me a little time to get my legs used to the motion again and the hills were still coming. I continued with my strategy of taking on two shotbloks every 10km with a big glug of water to keep my energy levels from waning (cos I dunno about anyone else, but when I hit the wall after cycling I really hit the wall!).
Soon after the feed station, the short route then merged with the other routes to head to the end. However, to me, the signage was either lacking or really unclear and with other cyclists on the road it was super confusing.
So at this point I rode past the turn I was supposed to take and then realised thankfully not too far down before I turned around to rejoin the actual route (hmmm just a few extra metres my poor legs had to do!)
Back on the course I caught up with a lady who was much older than myself. I didn’t wanna risk cycling behind her in case her pace slowed me down so I overtook.
But then she would overtake me down the road and I kid you not, this went on for miles. I have no idea at which point I lost her but I guess the game of chase came to an end eventually as I found myself riding by myself for a large proportion of the ride back to the finish.
My legs weren’t feeling too bad so I attempted to push as much as I could, making the most of the downhills and then the flatter roads as we started to hit the city again.
After what seemed like an endless stream of roundabouts and traffic lights I was back in Stratford for the final km sprint on the Olympic road track.
I didn’t have too much in me by this point but I gave it a good go with a big smile. I came home to finish in a time of 4 hours 21 minutes 03 seconds …which I am so very proud of!
I hopped straight off my bike and headed to the nearest steward to be presented with my medal before heading to the Erdinger tent for a pint of celebratory non alcoholic beer (and the podium for a picture of course!)!
By this point, the sun was shining and plenty of riders were still making their way to the finish.
Chris Froome was also back from his ride on the course taking official pictures with all the race village brands and any members of the public who were brave enough to interrupt for a selfie / autograph!
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire event and now I have a time to beat, I’m keen to do it all over again next year. I might even step up to the middle distance (but don’t quote me!) of 96 miles!
And sometimes I forget about the huge divide in male / female participation in sport due to the fact I’m surrounded daily by women who aren’t afraid to sweat but taking part in this event, which has so few women compared men, really reminded me that the divide is still very much alive and kicking!
L’Etape London by Tour de France was officially smashed! I have a lot to learn (or remember because I used to be a dab hand with a bike) before next years events but I’m planning on getting out on my bike a fair bit more now that I’m in the swing of a new home location and routine.
Have you ever taken part in a sportive before?! What are your cycling goals for 2017?!