Today was a successful day we all came back in one piece, no crashes and no mechanicals. That is a win right there. Today’s stage took us back up the descent from yesterday which was definitely not as fun going up as coming down then down some ace single-track and ending on dirt road.

I’ve had a big crash on my mountain bike for quite while and I’d forgotten how much it takes out of you. Not only physically but mentally too. I’ve managed to give my arm quite a bash so any bumps are rather painful I then ride knowing that and begin to take stupid lines even on the uphill to save myself discomfort. Thinking the smoother the line the less it’ll hurt forgetting that it’ll cost me time and valuable energy. On the descent it was a constant battle with my head; was there enough grip there, don’t go so fast and tensing up far too much. I definitely got better as the stage went on but at times I was descending like my Granny would. Perhaps I need to push my limits more in training become accustomed to hitting the deck and dealing with it. Although I’m not sure it’d be that great to hurt myself more, anything to get faster though right?!

With all this going on in my little head meant my actual pedalling wasn’t that fast. I kept a good rhythm but just felt like I was a slug putting lots of effort in but not moving. It did mean I took in my surroundings a little more. Cyprus is an absolutely stunning country. Looking over at the mountains and valleys despite all the hard work and pain there really wasn’t anywhere else I’d rather have been. At times like that I feel so grateful to the people that support me enabling me to ride my bike all over the world; my team Cannondale Girls, sponsors and my ever understanding boyfriend.

  
So tomorrow brings the 4 lap XCO stage. I imagine the pace will be fierce and I’ll be fighting to stay in for the distance. Three stages down just one to go!

GB Riders:

Elite Women:

Annie Last – 14th

Verity Appleyard – 37th

Maxine Filby – 4oth

Masters Women:

Adel Tyson Bloor – 1st

Elite Men:

Grant Ferguson – 10th

Jason Bouttell – 34th

Phillip Pearce – 47th

Lee Williams – DNS

Callum Riley – 77th

A full list of results from stage 3 can be found here

Words: Maxine Filby (Cannondale Girls)

All Images courtesy Tom Broyd