The journey to Heathrow airport went smoothly with no traffic problems. To my surprise checking in was smooth and fast, its not to much of a surprise to have problems with the handbike so I always give myself lots of extra time on the day.
After arriving at Basel airport, I had a quick look over the Handbike to see if there was any visible damage all looked in shape. When I arrived at the hotel I unpacked the Handbike, I had to sort out the gears, as the cable seemed to be stretched and tighten a few bits on the bike. I wanted to have an early night but due to sorting all the little bike bits I got to sleep after midnight.
In the morning I went down for breakfast and the weather was not looking too good as it was very cold and a high risk of snow, which would be the first time ever doing this race. Down at the start time was going fast and it started to get even colder, when the course was open I started my warm-up with one of the Polish riders as there was only a couple of my Handbike CR team mates at the race. I think this was due to the weather being so cold as the team had been training in Spain over the winter.
When I was doing my warm-up the brake failed on me, I went to the pit area as fast as I could and tried to fix the problem, which was a challenge, as I did not know what the problem was. After a few adjustments I went back to the course and as it was getting late was directed to my grid position on the second row. As I pulled up to my position I applied the brake and there was nothing there again. Now I had a big problem I was at the front of the grid with around 160 riders behind me. I kept pulling the brake but nothing happened, I had to think if to risk doing the race using the second brake which was attached to my seat but to use it I would have to take my left hand off and steer / change gear with one hand. The riders were ordered to the start line a few meters in front for the off, I decided to put my hand up and let all the riders come around me, and when it was clear I moved over to the grass off the course.
It would be impossible to ride the French course with no brake I could keep my hand on and use due to the very fast speeds and very sharp corners and turns. When the race started and all the riders had set-off I turned the bike around and went up the course to get to the pit area so I would not set the timing chip off on the bike and record a start resulting in a Did Not Finish (DNF). This is the first time since starting the sport I did not start a race, I was very disappointed and upset I really wanted to race as I have worked very hard over winter and I am now a race down with no points.