Tunnel hill. The one south of the M3 with the long twisty ditches and steep climbs. The track was superb, miles of gravel/sand Singletrack, lots of snaking descending sections and very few fire roads. Rocket Ron front and Icon rear led to good grip for fun determind by a pre-lap, but it was also clear that a 34 tooth front ring would kill me. The climbs were rideable solo but they would be full of traffic mid race. The beauty of the XX1 design, ring swapped to 32 in 5 minutes, sorted.
The pup running with the hounds, my first ever GrandVet race. On a chaotic grid I could spot old adversaries, Ray Crosthwaite, and Steve Jones, and FNSS current champ Tim Stowe. Well I say adversaries, id never been able to get near them 10 years ago and that didn’t seem to have changed. Quickly we caught the back of both the Vets and Masters races and carnage ensued, in the mad confusion it was impossible to tell what was going on. All I knew was I was chasing two green jerseys that I’d started with. I had an idea that I was in 6th at the end of lap 1 but was called in 4th confused!
Crosthwaite passed almost immediately and on a clearing course, was gone for good. I tucked in behind the green jersey and figured the race was on for 3rd. Another GV pup James Darcy led me round to the end of lap 2 then when I had the cheek to poke my nose in front, he lit the afterburners and that was that.
So 4th it was. Very pleased that I am competitive, but as I suspected still a bit too much of a diesel which takes a while to warm up. Speed work needed now.