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Posted on 14 July 2016

Isabel Hastie's BWC countdown

With only weeks left to go until the Brompton World Championship final, last year’s memories are coming flooding back.

In early 2015 I'd found out, like everyone else, that I had a place in the final and I was very excited; my husband also had a place so there was a lot of Brompton chat going on in our home. I’d recently had my daughter, Cameron, but I knew I could use the commuting miles for my training. Best get training, I thought!

The big day soon came around. We got dressed into our suits and jackets and headed to the Mall on our Bromptons. We picked up our race pack and headed into the hospitality area. We had a look around and found that we could store our Bromptons in their own little pen!

In the lead up to the race, we had teamed up with two riders, Daren and Fai, and we were planning to meet them for the first time. We soon found them and instantly got chatting about the race ahead. We then went for a quick ride together and I suddenly panicked as they were both storming ahead with Jordan!

When we got back to the hospitality area I started to spot some familiar faces from previous years. I’m never too sure who to approach and chat to, but everyone is always so friendly that it wasn’t too long before we were chatting about the upcoming race. A lot of the people I know and recognize are from the popular and ever-growing London Brompton Club. They’re a very friendly bunch and often host many Brompton excursions.

As the day grew on, I remember spotting Michael Hutchinson and that's when I began to feel nervous – it just reminded me how hotly contested the race is. Then we spotted David Millar. There was a lot of attention and chatter about a recently retired pro taking on Michael Hutchinson at the Brompton Championship, so that was fun to discuss.

Soon we were ushered to the start of the race, where we lined up our Bromptons on one side of the Mall and ourselves on the other. The countdown ended and we all ran to our bikes, unfolded them and then just rode out. I found Jordan just past the start and we got into the swing of things and just found our pace. We were lucky to find Daren and Fai relatively early on in the race and we all began to work well as a team. I’d like to think that being part of a team helped to keep each other motivated, and I genuinely believe the knowledge that we were working for each other helped to keep up the pace.

I have to say the crowds were awesome, they were loud and uplifting and a great motivator. So much so that I began to lose count of the laps and it seemed that all of a sudden I heard the final lap bell being rung. We got to the finish and tried to catch our breaths. I remember thinking it was my favourite race so far, thanks to the crowds, our team and the circuit being so much fun. The iconic London setting was pretty awesome as well.

The rest of the day we went and got our complimentary food and gin and tonics. We watched the very fast women’s Grand Prix crit race, and that was awesome, really fast and a great race to watch.  Anticipating the Brompton race results was nerve racking, as I didn’t know where I’d finished. I didn't think I'd won, but I was ever hopeful that I’d made it to the podium. When I heard my name being called to say I’d won the women’s race it was a massive but happy shock. I was very proud!

So, this year is set to be just as exciting as last year. I’m part of a women’s team, I’m really excited to be part of the eleventh Brompton World Championship final and looking forward to defending my title!

See you all there!