Saturday, 3 March 2012

Start as you mean to go on....

Sunday 26th February was my first race of the MTB season - the Gorrick Spring Series 2nd round. The new bikes have not yet arrived so was on my old faithful Kinesis newly refurbished with a little help from SIP events and Chris. Still being car-free (fingers crossed for a few more weeks only) I had to get the train out to the venue. This was surprisingly easy - cycle to Waterloo, get on train, travel for an hour, get off train, cycle 3.5 miles. I only came unstuck when on the side of a fast dual carriageway I was unable to find the venue. This is annoying in a car, and more annoying on a bike (and time consuming). In the end I went for the get into the woods and head in the general direction of the event and ask people tactic. This worked! Eventually!

Signing on I didn't recognise many of the names on the list but having been north of the border for a a season this was hardly surprising. I did however see Jo Munden riding around and knew it was going to be a tough one as she is a very strong rider.

A blow of the whistle and we were off... very slowly.... all of us had fallen foul of the downhill to the start and were in too big a gear. But the start was also downhill so after a pedal turn or two we were up to speed and hurtling towards the first loose corner. Gingerly making my way around and sprinting out I glanced back to see I had a good few metres already. Blimey! Head down and go time then.

Head down and go!

The course was really good, lots of short sharp climbs, loose descents, one unbelieveable bugger of a hill that I even saw top men walking up and an absolutely smashing bermed descent down the other side. It was a good thing, I realised on my last lap, that I was always behind someone going slightly slower than I would have on that descent and not able to pass because I might have done myself some damage it was so much fun! Most of the race I was riding with the middle of the sport male pack until Jo Munden managed to catch me on the 3rd lap. She made a really good pass so I just sat on her wheel and had a bit of a breather whilst working out when I could attack again. She then told me she was racing sport due to a recent injury. So we had a nice chat and rode through to her finish and for me to head out for the last time. Grabbing my final bottle from Simon (Ernest who had been kind enough to come and help me out with baby in tow) I was feeling rather good again and having had one person catch me wasn't keen for another to do the same. Head back down again then.
Thanks to the pit crew

It was not a worry in the end however and when I crossed the line I had a good gap over second and third. To say I was chuffed is an understatement. This was my first MTB win since I promoted myself to elite and although only early season and a local race it is confidence inspiring to get a win under your belt.

Thanks to Simon, Mel and baby D for the support, Joolze Dymond for cheering like a mad thing and all the guys for chatting to me and making it a sociable race! Until the next one...

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