Wahey what a cracking event! Really good atmosphere everyone was dead friendly, chatted to loads of other riders, weather was brilliant (during riding times anyway) and the courses were spot on. Downhill was a bit longer than I expected it to be, as I was running late I gave my 1:40 time for the seeding then I noted the longer route....oops. Didn't shame myself in the end, a couple of little mistakes on the run slowed me down a little but 1:41.19 got me 8th spot. The trials was fun a nasty little climb then the stuff up in the practice area, 2 skinnies, the seesaw, a curved skinny and the stepped climb. I managed a clean sweep so would be starting on time. I was going to hang around till the entertainment started but I couldn't sit still, kept going back and riding the trials and other stuff, proper tiring myself out so I left after watching some of the second lot of downhillers. It rained just after I left but all the riders had got down safely before it started.
XC race day was not as good for me, we started at 11 sharp, about 12 of us with 0 time penalty. I set off too quick, was in 5th up the first climb and my throat was red raw by the top, I eased off slightly and a couple of riders came passed me, couldn't get my breath back but held it at a steady 'completely ragged' state which I thought I could maintain. Donwnhill sections were a bit sketchy so out of breath but I made it down and across the line 17m15s for my first lap, get in! Having checked the results I was in 8th at that point but I was hurting, thinking my short racing career should be put to an end as it's bloody hard work and not massively enjoyable. Halfway round the 2nd lap I flatted arrrrgh. Checked the back tyre it had ripped, about an inch gash in it, oh dear. Tried to patch the inside of the tyre with a 1cm patch, didn't have a plastic tyre 'boot' I sometimes carry for this sort of thing so bunged in a business card (also good for spacing your disc brake pads) hoping it would help, while I was at it I patched my original tube (good job) So that cost me about 10 minutes, not long after that I passed Si who had come to watch, he clocked my time, I finished that lap and started another, coming passed Si 18minutes later, pretty good, then on the downhill back into the arena I flatted again, grrrr. I pretty much knew it was over then, as I was fixing it the leaders came passed me so as I finished my lap I wasn't allowed out for the final one. Gutted about the punctures, with 17/18minute laps I could have been top ten.
Really good event I will definitely going to the next one.
Pic by Dave Haygarth