#TeamRutland: Racing a World Championships!

Words by Aaron Scott

on 01/09/2017 09:38:25

Clair-Parfrey-1

Clair Parfrey is a Women's Bike Ambassador and Expert Bike Fitter at our Whitwell store. After qualifying for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships at the Tour of Cambridgeshire Chrono, Clair travelled to Albi, France, last month to take on the world!

The World Championships were getting very close so on Saturday 16th I took my Giant Trinity Advanced Pro for a shake down at a local time trial. I came home with a new personal best and a prize for winning my age category! Then it was time to pack 3 bikes, 13 wheels, a work stand, tool kit and camping gear into an estate car and head off to Dover. The journey down to Albi went well but it got hotter and hotter! We arrived on Monday which gave us plenty of time to recce the course in the car and by bike. On one of these rides we met Malcolm Smith, one of the organisers of the Tour of Cambridgeshire, nice to see a friendly face. On Wednesday we attended a rider briefing and had the bike checked by the UCI, who just popped it in the jig, stood back and said "oh la la!" It was fine and we then rode the Albi autodrome circuit which was the start and finish.

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On the morning of the race I was very glad of my 8:30am start time as temperatures rose quickly to 36 degrees which, when you are wearing a skinsuit and helmet with shield, is no joke! The course was very technical, a sharp exit from the track, some tight corners with road furniture, a 700m climb at 6%, a twisty decent, and a very sharp righthand off camber turn that dropped steeply. But this was the world championships so it wouldn't be right to have an easy course! I was quickly overtaken by Jeanie Longo - an ex pro who went on to win my age group.

Clair's Ride

Giant Trinity Advanced Pro 2

Giant Trinity Advanced Pro 2

Clair opted for the higher spec Trinity Advanced Pro model for the World Championships - this Advanced Pro 2 is more budget friendly, and optimised for triathlon, with integrated hydration and storage solutions which would fall foul of UCI rules.

  • Frame - Advanced Grade Composite
  • Fork - Aero Drive Tri, Advanced Grade Composite
  • Groupset - Shimano Ultegra 22-speed
  • Wheels - Giant PA-2

The experience was fantastic and I'm proud to be 13th fastest woman in the 55-59 age group - not bad for a grandma who started out as a Breeze rider 10 years ago! But I did miss the excellent warm up area that Rutland Cycling ran at the Tour of Cambridge. I'm now spending my winnings from that race last weekend on ice cream whilst dipping my feet in the river Tarn.

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Launched in 2011, the UCI Gran Fondo World Series (formerly known as the UCI World Cycling Tour) is a series of UCI-sanctioned road races held all over the world. Throughout the season, some 15 events qualify the top 25% in each age group for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships(the former UWCT Final and UCI Masters Road World Championships). The age group winners of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are awarded the UCI rainbow jersey. The qualifier events are open to riders of all levels: those who aim to make the podium and others who wish tocross the finish line in the best possible time. This year's World Champiopnships were being held in Albi, France, from 24th-27th August.