Hey all, little report from the last few weeks.
Sunday 12th March. Southern xc Wasing round 1.
Arriving to a muddy field in a little village called wasing, it was sure to be a heck of a race. Off to do a practice lap, and it soon became clear that my initial tyre choice was far too ambitious, so back to the van I went to change wheels. Grippier tyre fitted and off I went , better but still not pulling me around on train tracks like I'd envisioned. Practise lap done , and mind set that it was quicker to run the climbs and I would have to be stopping to clean my bike each lap as the mud was so intense.
Race time -
Lined up with some of the countries leading riders, I was nervous to see how I would perform. Off to a good start along a nice fire track we was all together . After he first few sections of track and running sections. I found myself riding in 12th place. Plugging away in the mud, running the bad sections and cleaning my bike as quick as I could I was soon catching riders. All of us at different times having bike issues. After a race long battle , not only with riders but also the elements and savage mud, I crossed the line happy with my performance and exhausted in a solid 8th place. Now to get the bike back race fit ready for next weeks Eastern series.
Sunday 19th March - mud sweat gears round 2 - Suffolk
What a change of weather, arriving to a dusty sunny race day !! Bike set , practise lap done , nice dry and dusty. A fast track, with lots of bumps and switchbacks on a grass field. Lining up with a clear line ahead of me. I was unsure how I would perform, I knew a few of the riders were going well off the back of a winter of racing , but improvement is what I was here for. Off to a poor start I worked myself into 3rd place. Soon to be passed by quick started and I was riding in 7th place. Settling into the race trying to keep a consistent pace I was soon catching riders , with a strong head wind down the back end of the course I used this to pull back time. After 9 laps of racing and passing endless riders as there was 200 other riders on the short course at the same time . I was chuffed to finish in 4th place. Happy with my result and my consistent lap times, just left me thinking "I just need to go faster" I've got a fair bit of work to go to get where I want. The hardest thing is I still have the feeling and visions of 6-7 years ago when I dominated the scene and was a consistent national/international podium rider. I know the results will come with the hard work so for now I have a few weeks of training before the next race.
Thanks for your support it's greatly appreciated
Sunday , Olympic Park London. Mud sweat & gears round 1. Elite race.
Arriving keen to get stuck in and see how my form was after a winter of training. I knew my rivals had just raced a winter of cyclocross / winter series races so was already on good fitness.
Course was dry , rocky and not many places to overtake.
Wearing my new tenn race kit which fits amazing ! And is clearly visible for my pit crew to spot me.
Getting a great start i lead the start loop and then settled into 2nd place in a group of 5 of us at the head of the race.
Until the midway point we was wheel to wheel. Then we started to lap the back markers , with 140 riders on the short 11minute lap with not many places to pass it was proving difficult to get passed. A few mistakes from other riders and a few crashes split our group with 2 riders going clear. I was then in the middle trying to keep a consistent pace and keep out of trouble riding in 3rd place.
2 laps to go I was joined by another rider who then pulled a gap on me as I was stuck behind some back markers , not taking any risks I got past and regained contact with 3rd place.
But the effort of digging deep to regain contact proved to much and I soon lost contact and rolled into the finish in a satisfied 4th place.
My highest result in a mountain bike race since I switched to the road in 2011!!
My dad " Jim whenman" also raced in the Grand vets and came in a solid 40th!
Now a few weeks training before the next race.