It was a bit of a drive to day 3’s middle race to the South. Sarah B was sharing my car and handily brought a satnav with her. We had no edge of childish giggles listening to the anglicised pronunciations of the road and town names. Our favourite this morning sounded like ‘arse veg’ with ‘fast veg’ a close second bringing thoughts of cabbages and leeks racing across the road!
There was a map on display at the start with an extra path marked. I noted the race map was split into two – complex to the East, big tracks to the West separated by a steep incline. I resolved in prestart to give it everything on the climbs and on the fire roads and just keep the power on for the full hour or so else I was going to be last!
I rode well and cleanly through the first few, getting out the saddle on the hills but I was too all in, puffing and sweating after the long leg and fluffed #5 taking the wrong track, losing a couple of minutes.
I didn’t lose too much time in the complex stuff, first time around, but didn’t notice the track from #11 was U shaped. I was good and retraced my steps but I could see tyre marks showing others not having the same scruples!.
At the map changeover I wasn’t sure what was going on – totally confused by the turn over control then becoming the centre of a butterfly loop….. Soon I worked it out and was off again, and rode the rest cleanly but I was shattered when I finished – too many mistakes, probably because I was giving it loads on the legs and the nav suffered.
There was a fair bit of criticism of the planning in the complex area, some calling for a blow up, some calling for tapes to stop the blatant cutting through that was happening. To be honest a couple of little bits of tape and a marshal in a high viz jacket would have probably helped but it was very hard to work out what was going on… Perhaps just a couple of controls max might have been better in there?