The scene Ickworth House a National Trust property, back to a proper race for the first time in ages. The final of the Eastern XC series and could I live up to the race number given.
Well I didn’t feel like I could beast anything lining up for the start, don’t think I’ve ever started an event with such heavy stiff legs. I can only assume this was from beasting a few climbs during the week for the first time this year. With no need to worry about getting a good start It was a pretty relaxed pace as we rattled across the very bumpy grass sections, I counted about 18 riders ahead on the first climb including teamates Pilch and Brownie.
And Bumpy was the word, the first proper race on the Pace and due to fork failure it was rigid all round, it did seem to be a big mistake on that first lap. Into the woods for the first time and quickly passed Brownie who to be fair was far from 100% well. The tracks were firm and with plenty of passing places it was actually fun as I disposed of plenty of riders who just didnt seem to want to play at cornering devils like I was, now we were beasting, well in my mind.
Lap1 19:30 and from then on it became pretty quiet, just trying to get the legs a bit more fluid by easing up on the pedals whenever the chance. It was good fun going into some of the fast corners pedalling as late as possible and then getting on the power as early as possible. Its quite staggering how much ground you can make up on riders who are doing the same overall pace as yourself just by concentrating free-wheeling for as little time as possible.
Pilch was 1:08 up on me on lap1 and flying, the gaps that followed are interesting. lap2 he pulled another 1:14 ahead, on 3 only 42s. Then as I reached my mental halfway point, grabbed a bottle from the wonderfull Plumz ladies in the pits, I upped the pace as usual. lap 4 and I was now 14secs up and for the final circuit I went for it finally hitting happy to hit a rib hurting Z5 for the first time on the climbs. Pleased with my final lap of 19:50 another 14s out of Pilch who got a brilliant 4th place way out of my sight. I was quite honestly gobsmaked when I heard I was 6th, satisfied to see I grabbed the final spot by 10 secs up that final climb too. Slash won as usual with Ant White second.
Overall well pleased with my climbing power when I pushed it, and in the end the 2.4 ralph at 20PSI on the front wasnt too bad. A big footprint in the sticky stuff, but with a relaxed grip pretty manageable.
It seems no sooner is there a race that somebody creates and names a Strava Track
of eac race track. It interesting to see if you match up with the best on some sections, but it could also serve as a good record of all the UK race circuits over the years. Full RESULTS