Not having a car makes getting to the races a challenge in itself, especially the ones in the middle of no where! Luckily I have an amazing bunch of friends to call on when I get stuck. Kristian (an old school friend) was happy to help for this one so we set off on the Saturday morning.
The weather was absolutely stunning and hit 21 degrees. The drive was hilarious (Kristians driving always is entertaining!) and the route we took lead us all along the south coast from Poole to Exeter. We arrived at lunchtime and Kristian dropped me off at the Exeter horse racing course where I was booked in for their campsite. After setting up the tent in record breaking time, I head off into the forest to check out the trails….
Wow, was this the best forest I have ridden for XC/ all-round mtb ing??? I think so! I rode the Transition stages for the weekends race and they were awesome so I was extremely excited to see what the actual tracks looked like.
The transition stages were dry and dusty with only the occasional puddle so the tyres that Giant provide as standard with the Trance SX were spot on (Shwalbe hans dampf on the front and rock razor on the rear) they worked in complete harmony with the suspension set up that Cycle Paths recommended and put into place. Overall the bike felt great and everything went to plan, other than my hand which still hand not recovered from last weeks crash. Bring on the race…….
Woke up early on Sunday with full excitement and eagerness to get on the start line so made my way down to the track to meet everyone, there were some very well know riders there so my adrenaline really started to flow! Stage 1 was very rooty and twisty and I could not find my flow but moved onto stage 2 being slightly calmer. I was now in full attack mode and caught 4 riders in front on the 3 minute 56 sec run. Stage 3 was similar and I caught another 2 people making my run much slower than it could have been.
Stage 4 was the same again with me hunting down 2 riders much to my frustration, but the marshal would not
let us switch so. I kept quiet and carried on. Upon arrival at stage 5, the marshall invited me to go in front of 6 riders which I dived at so set off like a mad man! This was by far the most demanding track with lots of pedalling to be done. The bike handled great and I was having the run of my day. Bleeping in at the dabber at the end it was race over. I was running in 3rd position for the mens seniors, it stayed like this until all the riders had finished, what a race. Im now in love with Enduro riding!