Another morning of showers and manky weather but the day brightened into sunshine! Svinklov was another brilliant area for MTBO, a really dense track network of varying ride-ability including zoomy (and not so zoomy) single-tracks, lots of route-choice and a need for the brain to be engaged. The trouble is for the first 2 controls my brain was definitely not engaged, phaffing about with lots of stopping and little mistakes, but probably not losing more than a minute or so. On the way to #3 I got going and into the map and rode OK for the rest of the course except for a few wobbles. I did a little bit of forestry work on the way to #8 taking a difficult to ride track that disappeared! I lost a few minutes dragging the bike through some undergrowth, retracing my steps… pulling sticks out of the rear wheel! I cocked up number 10 misreading a track junction however it did mean I got to ride some great singletrack!
A strange inclusion to the course was a bonkers bit of singletrack with boulders and roots, steps and dropoffs which had most people off and running with the bike for a couple of controls between #19 and #21. Bits were fun but I think it should have been marked as difficult to ride and part of a route choice leg perhaps?
I was mid-table again, a few minutes back on the other Brits – I need to have my head in the game tomorrow morning for the next race – another world masters series!