Round 1 of the Midlands Cross Country Mountain Bike Race series was held in glorious weather just north of Rubgy, at Cosford. Masters were racing in the afternoon and with a field of 50 I was looking forward to another day of pain, with Adrian’s (coach) advice just to give it everything and treat it as a training session and see what happened.
I took the opportunity to ride a lap prior to the race as a warm up. It was a fantastic mix of rooty singletrack, bumpy landrover tracks, fast grass and swooping descents. However, it contained 2 hills, one of which I knew would be a real challenge in the later stages of the race as legs tired.
After the under 10’s race Holly wanted to do some of the course so I took her round. She had a great over the handle bars moment when her front wheel slipped into a furrow, but other than a few tears she was back on the bike and sprinting away to beat Daddy to the chocolate biscuit prize for the first back. She was also asking about how to unclip from SPDs 🙂
The start was a bit chaotic: not enough room for everyone to line up by side so I ended up starting right at the back and got stuck behind a few people for the first bit of single track. The field soon opened up and I was able to slowly pick off about 10 people as the fist lap continued. I was really enjoying the course, even pulling a little air on some of the faster humps, which is unusual for me as I’m mainly a wheels-on-the-ground type. As you can see from the laptimes below I tired on lap 4 and then got very tired on the last lap.
A quick mention of the eventual elite winner, Wiggle Rider, Lee Williams who was just so friendly and polite as he came past on my last lap, it made a refreshing change to the cut and thrust I’m used to.
The big climb at the start of the last lap had me in granny ring and out of the saddle but I was able to keep the pace up through the single track that followed and managed a reasonably strong finish, but it’s those hills I need to work on…It was pleasing not to tire as quickly and dramatically as I did at Sherwood Pines a few weeks ago. Great event on a cracking course.
(photos by Cath)