A backward course, a long spell of dry weather, less singletrack and an early climb – a change for better or worse?
Tuesday prior Tom was lead on a rough guide to the course. Dry, slippery in places due to the dust and riding up nice downhills raised a few complaints. Thursday night ran part of the course again with different faces, a slower pace and the lack of fun seemed apparent. Friday was a trundle with Chris Noble in greasy conditions on Michelin Dry 2 tyres. Flick and slip and slide and trouble. Down Coldean some damp roots and a tree produced a bad dislocation. Adding to all the other injured riders this year I could not even claim a speed or bravery badge as compensation.
Race day meant more serious racers with professional and semi professional riders mixing with talented amateurs. Bikes seemed to be a higher standard this year with many running silently apart from the rumble of the tyres over the ground. The minority 29ers of previous years has become the majority and carbon was common. Feedback during the race included poor overtaking practice from many riders in sponsored kit and a few riders knocked off and several reporting swearing and abuse. Sad that.
Timelaps has full results but some of us had excellent showing in the solo and the team events with some one lap riders producing fast times. So if you thrashed yourself in the team events to support/out do/humiliate your team mates or if you emptied yourself riding the whole six hours then well done all of you.
Best bit of the day for me was all the kids – riders of tomorrow.