Well its that time of year again where I enter the University Mountain Bike Championships, and discover whether I should be riding a road bike. The weather couldn’t have been better for a March weekend, nippy at night but the trails were dry and dusty.
The saturday was a chilled out day, sessioning the XC course, finding any sneaky lines and where the climbs kicked in. For the team the results got off to a great start when my team mate joe came 4th overall in the Downhill, out of 285 riders!!
Sunday rolled around to another fine day, we prepared by watching the XC sport race, which only increased my nerves as the pace looked intense. After retiring back to my car to prepare, drink energy drinks and eat pasta. 12:45 arrived and I made my way to the front of the grid, all of the front grid looked even more whippet like than myself, as I waited we were informed the race length had changed from 5 to 6 laps, double the length of the sport race…lovely.
We started at an epic pace to begin, which slowed as we filtered through the technical first section. The riders had soon spread out by the time the trecherous descent came around, with most of the downhill racers congregating around one corner the banter was intense, making me concentrate intensely, as not to make a mistake infront of them. After a good tussle with my team mate over a few laps as he cleared the descent and I cleared him on the climbs the race drew on. As the XC elite flew round I began clearing through further riders, only for the final lap to come around all to quick as I felt good for more.
So in the end I came 53rd out of 110, which I was satified with as I wanted top half, but felt I had more to give. I came 2nd out of my team, beaten by the mighty joe, but I beat 2 others. Considering entering further race’s in the future……….