Ian Field Reports from MTB XC round 2, Steve James takes 2nd Place
Having only been back on the bike 5 weeks since my break after the Cross season expectations were not as high as normal but this weekend did see me racing Round 2 of the National MTB series in Cornwall. This is a full month earlier than when I have started racing in the past and part of a new training plan for myself while looking to take another step up the ladder on the international Cross scene.
After the long travel there I was greeted with a technical rocky course which was going to be a tough opener. Not too hilly but enough to wear you down over the course of 7 laps.
I got a good start and settled onto the back of the lead group on the first descent. On the first real climb of the course things began to split up and I found myself in about 10th place and trying to settle into a good tempo. I was trying to ride an evenly paced race with not too much top end in the tank, strength and my endurance work would have to be my main source of ammo. On the 3rd and 4th laps faster early starters began to fade and I had worked my way through to a good group racing for 5th position. I still felt ‘comfortable’ and was looking to put in a strong last couple of laps. On the penultimate lap I caught my front tyre on a rock and heard the unwanted yet familiar hissing noise of a puncture.
I made my way by half running half riding to one of the technical zones where I could pump the front tyre back up and ride to the second zone where my spare wheels were awaiting me. After a front wheel change I was on my way again but now in 10th only a few seconds ahead of a group of riders. I put in a strong last lap and managed to secure 10th position. Slightly annoyed and wondering if I could have claimed that final podium position.
All in all I was really pleased with how I was going and I am now looking forward to the National MTB marathon Champs next weekend in Selkirk, Scotland before getting my next real big block of training in.