CARR Hill high school’s Rosa Martin admitted being roared down the home straight on The Mall by hordes of fans at the Prudential RideLondon Youth Grand Prix would live long in the memory.
Martin, 16, was one of 43 talented young cyclists picked to contest the Youth Grand Prix on Saturday in front of thousands of cycling fans who lined the route to cheer on the riders.
The 45-minute race followed a 1.3-mile loop around St James’ Park and Buckingham Palace and saw 12 teams from regions across the UK compete for the £4,250 pool of prize money.
It was also the same route followed by some of the world’s best professional cyclists just minutes earlier, including world road race champion Marianne Vos and double Olympic champion Laura Trott, for the women’s Grand Prix title.
And Martin, who finished eighth for the North West girls’ team, admitted it had been an experience to savour in the capital.
“It was a really good race. We knew we had a really strong team so I just wanted to stay in the bunch to make sure the team could get the main prize,” said the Carr Hill High School pupil.
“And at the end I felt like I could sprint really well but someone swerved into me and I nearly came off so I had to slow down for that. But I still got a good position so I’m happy.
“I did it last year but it was still really nice to come back as it’s such a different atmosphere from elsewhere.
“For me, as I was the only one on the team who knew it from last year I felt I could be more competitive and get a really good result.
“The crowd were really good too and were cheering us all on.”
Martin had extra reason to celebrate with her North West girl’s team finishing top of the pile to take home £500 with the West Midlands in second and South West in third.
But there was little time for celebration for the aspiring cyclist with her attention already turning to her next challenge on the bike.
“I have the inter regional road championships, one more national road series and the Madison national championships to come this season,’ added the Ribble Valley Juniors Cycling Club member.
“It will all be done by the end of September and then I’ll have a nice break.
“I really enjoyed London, we are going to split the money out between the team.”