With Gorrick 100 and UK12 only a few weeks away I would be wise to try my legs on an XC race. The run up to the race wasn’t ideal, I broke my spare set of wheels and rode most of the week either road riding or on my Singlespeed, luckily Jonathan from Strada Wheels pulled through and I picked up my new bling set of Carbon 29er wheels. 29er wheels have a notorious habit for being flexible, luckily with carbon rims these wheels are super stiff, and get up to speed super quickly.
Arriving in plenty of time to Matterley Basin near Winchester I signed on and rode a quick practice lap to check conditions and learn the course, the course suited my strengths, it was not very technical and it had several long climbs. Conditions were good considering the heavy rain the previous day, summer tyres worked well, even on the slippery rooty sections, I was relieved and looked forward to racing.
Having not raced xc properly in 2 years, I opted for the sport category, lining up for the start I was happy with my choice. I had a good start and was easily inside the top ten by the end of the first climb, reaching the first singletrack we had caught the master cat back markers but the course suited overtaking.
At race pace the laps felt even shorter, first lap done, pushing on I was in second place, comfortable with the pace the second lap went well, onto the final lap I needed to make up over a minute to catch first place, this didn’t happen. I finished second which I was happy and surprised with, my lap times were all within 10seconds of each other and I had plenty left in the tank, which makes me think I should have stepped up to the expert cat, but as I confidence checker I was happy. Next race Gorrick 100.