Monday, 28 March 2011

Disappointment at British MTB Series round 1

After months of winter training there was a huge build up to the first national of the year which created a massive amount of excitement and a huge turn out in all categories.

It was good to gather as a team once again and feel like a unit with our TORQ team setup in the arena. A few practise laps Saturday revealed a very tough lap which would be a true test of race fitness. To suit the new UCI regulations the lap had also been shortened to 4 miles which meant riding through the arena more times which was good as this is where the majority of the crowds tend to gather. However the tight and twisty singletrack sections did result in some congestion on race day.

After a good warm up I was able to make a good start but crucially lost some places going into the first singletrack. Over the next 2 laps I made my way up into the second group of riders battling it out for 6th place. This group including some quality riders including Liam Killeen and several visiting professional riders.

The singletrack was being ridden at a high speed but the pace on the fireroads was crazy! The 2 hour race was a huge interval session with very limited recovery. My body just wasn’t ready for this and I popped going into my 5th lap. Not even a TORQ guarana gel could save me and I slipped from a possible top 10 to 22nd in just over 8 miles.

To say the least I was and still am very disappointed but hopefully I can bounce back strong at the next race.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Survival and relief – round 4 of the Gorrick Spring Series

First race of 2011 complete, what a relief! I was pretty nervous last night and definitely over thought the race. The big question was whether my hand would survive. My determination to lead down the first fireroad descent to the drop off paid off as unknown to me carnage prevailed behind with multiple riders on the floor. My block pass to take the lead before the descent was a little risky but had to be done, I did have the inside line.

After taking the lead 10 seconds into the race I kept my nose in front for 2 laps pushing the pace as practise for the rapid Sherwood speed we’ll see next week. The objective was to start as fast as possible and then survive to the end. Pretty quickly it was just Jody Crawforth sat on my coattails with Ade Lansley, Chris Minter, and Scott Forbes following shortly behind.

The gap to the chasers increased and by lap 4 they were out of site, Jody and myself were still together though despite both of our efforts to drop each other with multiple attacks on laps 3 and 4. Going into the last lap the pace increased and Jody got a gap on a small short sharp climb, his 10 second advantage he created at that point was just too much to pull back. The gap stayed the same till very near the end of that lap where I faltered on a slippery climb loosing traction and any chance of taking the win. I cruised the last few minutes to the line accepting and enjoying the emotions of completing my first race of the year.

Today was a real battle and an enjoyable ride. My hand survived although it’s a little sore and swollen now. It makes me excited about the next 28 days of racing that lay ahead this year! Next up is round 1 of the British XC Series in a week’s time. Thanks to everyone who shouted support my way today and a huge thank you to Chris White from Mountain Trax for lending me his amazing bike.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Start Time

This blogs once again been neglected over the last few weeks, not a lots been happening and therefore there hasn’t been much to write about. After missing Andalucia Bike Race I was pretty determined to have a go racing the Gorrick Spring Series two weeks ago at Heath Warren, however after twenty minutes of pre riding it was clear my hand was still broken!

Fast forward two weeks to today where I finally got a proper taste of riding the mountain bike with two hours of blasting around the trails of Porridge Pot Hill which will host the fourth round of the Gorrick series this weekend. I’m pretty excited to be finally getting the season going this Sunday, all the hard work I’ve been putting in might not completely show this week but I hope with a week of recovery my energy systems will be firing on all cylinders in time for the first British XC on the 27th.

That’s all for now, will check in next week with an update... promise!