AM. Cycle/MTB 28km, inc. Gorrick Spring XC Series round 1 (Crowthorne Wood)
Veterans race, 3 laps, 26½km __ HR162(174)
Lap 1. 34:00
Lap 2. 32:58
Lap 3. 33:42 Total = 1:40:42, 29th place [Results]
Watched Jules do her beginners race, she struggled a bit because I put too much air in her tyres before the off. It made her bike much bouncier and less grippy than she’s used to – not a nice feeling. Then it was time to get my bike out for my veterans race, 3 laps around Crowthorne Woods.
I hung about near the back at the start and took the first half lap pretty steady, with virtually no warm up. Everyone around me seemed to be working quite hard, and by halfway round it’d thinned out a bit and the faster riders from the next race behind us, the Grand Vets, were overtaking us. I stepped up the pace a bit as I could pick my own lines. At the end of the first lap I went through the start/finish to hear I was 42nd (I think) over the tannoy.
I was fast up the fire roads and on the flat but a bit slow through the singletracks, although as the race went on my confidence increased and I found myself passing quite a few blown riders on the last lap even though I was starting to cramp up a bit myself. I attacked one of the last downhills in a gully a bit too much though, took the wrong line and came off into a tree, almost getting caught by the guy I’d just passed. I just about managed to hold him off to the finish. My ribs’ll be sore tomorrow.
I was exhausted, after my steady start I’d been flat out for an hour and a half. I didn’t have the skills that the really quick guys have – they zoom through the singletrack, wheels barely in line at all, never touching the brakes. I have much work to do but thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was a good workout for this time of year. At the finish I chatted to Ashley Roles (Witney Wheelers, and someone I know from the summer chaingang, years ago). He’s much more capable off-road and was lapping 4 minutes faster than me (I think he had a much more aggressive start too!), and although he had a chain problem on the last lap that slowed him up a bit he still finished minutes ahead. It was good to catch up with him.
More pictures from Joozle Dymond HERE