Two record rides on the off road commute, both ways did it mean anything, or had I overdone it. I was about to find out. A very hot night, rock hard bumpy dusty racetrack and it sure felt like that on the checkout lap. Usually if the bike dosen’t flow its a sure sign of tiredness, legs too weak to support you over the rough, the bike batters you more.
Front row of the mass start didn’t go to plan, slower riders who should know better squashing into the centre track it was lucky we didnt have a mass pile up. No worries the fast Elites were gone, a group of riders desperately hanging on their tails, me leading group 2, but not for long.
The riders behind me soon realised I was going nowhere and started swarming past, I was struggling. Into bluebell singletrack and it slowed up enough for a rest, secondtime round the meadow I could take a few places back. The hillside wood was as slow and processional as expected but with the mass start it flowwed ok. Out into the open and it was a chance to access where I thought I was. Normal service resumed from last year as Steve Moore eased by and Mike Winters got his big thighs into action and pulled away. So with BigRing and Ashby away that’s at least 5th and the rest.
Into the woods ahead of Steve, I followed Mike but could not pass. Out onto the open and amazing, Mike wasn’t power off into the distance, infact I felt like progress was a bit slack so I passed and head down into the wind attacked the woods entry at speed. And that was pretty much it. Never really had any issues or pressure from then on, always catching people through the woods and feeling strong over the open sections. Pete Harris was shouting from the wings that I was 20 secs down on second so as expected I had 3rd sewn up but as i couldn’t see a shirt I recognised ahead I didn’t believe him.
At the line a rider said he was worried as he thought i was going to catch him, David Perry/Gabby Day Cycle was he and in 2nd place not Bigring! he trailed in behind me after a rotten start. So really chuffed with the result and more about what appeared to be an improved performance over last years rivals….. 3rd places are going to be hard won this year though so I’m glad of some early points on the board. Slash as usual was long gone, 4 mins ahead.
99 Dave Perry
96 Gaz strickland