You know when people are keen about their racing when they, together with their family, drive all the way to Gravesend to race. The person concerned was Poppy Kisley, who only turned 16 last month and the race, or races, was the Deux Jours de Londres 2 Day Stage Race.
This is a 4-stage race weekend and a round of the National Youth Circuit Series – so some serious competition. The first day was at the Redbridge Cycling Centre, and the second day at the Cyclopark, Gravesend.
The Redbridge centre comprises a 1.3-mile purpose-built track and Stage 1 was a 1 lap prologue run clockwise. Unfortunately, because the Kisley’s arrived late, Poppy didn’t get chance to get a sighting lap in and was slightly caught out by the hilly circuit. However, she managed a time of 3m.38.05 to finish 38th in the 50-rider field.
Poppy starting the TT
The afternoon Stage 2 was held in an anticlockwise direction and was for a duration of 60 minutes.
However, the race got off to a disastrous start with another girl riding into Poppy, before they had even crossed the start line, resulting in both girls crashing. Added to this, Poppy couldn’t get her chain back on and ended up starting already half a lap behind the main bunch. Poppy rode valiantly and manged to catch and overtake at least seven other girls to finish in 37th place.
Poppy chasing down the bunch in Stage 2
That should have been the spur to hope for better luck and some good races on Sunday, but unfortunately it just wasn’t Poppy’s weekend. She became unwell on Saturday evening and was devastated she couldn’t compete in the Sunday Gravesend races.