It seems I didn’t need Yoda after all. I LOVE this country and it’s glorious weather and the course at Giba Gorge was so well designed!Didn’t start well today though. We all woke up this morning and compared stories of feeling rough in the night. Poor Dave Fletcher was worst off and didn’t even make the start line. I had no idea what to expect of myself in this my first race of the season. My preparation over winter had been quality but a little stop start due to the weather. Today it rained. I was so glad. The temperature a cool 20 degrees allowing me to ease into racing gently (ease into racing gently? What?). I stood on the start line with Yolanda Speedy (got me thinking I should change my name) and decided to stay on her wheel as long as possible without bowing a gasket. The first lap I went hard but then backed off a bit as planned and a gap developed between me and the top 3. I consolidated my efforts and tried to find a steady rythem. I felt good. Strong despite being taken out hard by a bad overtake on a slippy bridge. I lost concentration on laps 3 to 5, forgetting to race so when the bell went for the final lap I realised I still had heaps in my legs. I put on the power again and clawed back a place feeling very strong but riding safe to cross the line in 3rd place, some valuable UCI points in the bag. The prize money will come in handy too! The atmosphere and people at the race were amazing. Everyone is so friendly and generous here. Afterwards most of the elite women sat down on the huge sofas of the bike arenas cafe veranda and ate together while some kind boys washed our bikes (have I mentioned recently just how much I love my bike?). Well done Rourke, Ben and Paul my Orange Monkey-Cannondale house mates on their rides. 2nd, 5th and 18th respectively. Time to take the foot off the gas a bit now and take care of ourselves before our next Cat 1 race in 2 weeks time.