Sometimes things just come together
Monday, April 30th, 2012
Hi there guys. After taking a little rest from XCO racing, initially for recovery and then due to work and travels, I finally made it back to the race track.
The Mud,Sweat and Gears series is, I guess, my “local” series. When I was growing up there was no Eastern XCO series; the reason I didn’t start MTB racing until I was at University despite trying to. Now there is an established BC ranking series I am always keen to attend to support it when I can in the hope that young riders can get the opportunity to race for years to come in the region.
The weather was awful all week and I knew waking up to the heavy heavy rain on Sunday morning that this was going to be a complete sufferfest. It was. As a small field, but with some notable riders, lined up it was clear I was going to have my work cut out in order to hold the pace.
The course was tough, tight singletrack, no grip and a very long slow climb on water logged grass; at points the water was over BB height. Physically I had one of my best races in a long time holding an average heart rate of 178 for nearly 2 hours of racing. Technically in the mud I felt invincible making very few mistakes and where there wasn’t any traffic I was flying. I was only really left asking for more in back 1/3 of the course over the long slow climb. It was a real nasty draggy one.
Throughout the race I had no idea in what position I was in, but I kept taking places and was for a few laps in a tussle with Andy Cockburn; a rider I consider to be much faster than myself. Andy was clearly faster in the open but in the woods I was reeling him in.
Come the end of the race I was really happy with my ride. My girlfriend Sarah thought I was 5th so we just went back to the van to clean up and head home – turns out I was 3rd and I missed the podium. Gutted! It was the first time I have reached the podium in an Elite race, oh well, more to come as I am finding some form and rhythm on the bike.
Looks like training this week will be on hold as I will spending most of it cleaning up.