Well that’s what I’m kidding myself with I just could not work out why this race just got harder and harder, it was like I was dragging an Anchor, looking at that maybe I was.
A complete whiteout at a race is a first for a National round and the organisers did a great job making sure it could go ahead, this was the arena as the first race of the day got underway. have to say though, wish we were out there for that race, the course was way faster and less mud, and i still can’t get my head round racing at 2pm.
Being Neo GV riders me and Pilch had no background to get a favorable gridding position, and as we lined up on the 4th row of ten we just wanted to keep out of the carnage of the starts here. Looking around there were plenty of other fast guys I remember from Vets racing in the same boat, lots of faster guys trying to pass everyone else, with the inevitable result. Luckily this was behind us, we got away ok and stayed upright untill the first singletrack at least.
The state of the course took me by surprise, it was thick deep slop, and cutting into deep ruts which drew you in without much choice. With 110 vets as well as our race the track was busy, but to be honest everyone was slow in the treacle. (looking at the results the 25 min laps we were doing put us into the 30’s in vets) Pilch led away but was just saving some mega rear wheel slides, so I headed for the first section. It seemed to takes ages to reach the first bit of fireroad, an uphill section, I buried myself and passed loads. That was the last time I felt powerfull though, Pilch soon passed and danced away from me riding really smoothly, not good for my exploding brain either.
I was having big problems steering straight, my head was going, I’m better than this I kept thinking, but I could not stop the front wheel just randomly turning sharply when it felt like it. I could not fathom it out! Was it the slow speed combined with the higher grip from the front Rocket Ron, long wheelbase and less weight on the front? Or was i just being pants.
All three laps I could still hear the announcer calling the leaders over the line, although the slow slop of the finishing loops meant It took ages to actually get there myself. That meant I was at least in the ball park, and a last lap push was worth a go as I focused onto two riders in front. Boom…Then I was on the floor, a Vet had fallen sideways as I passed him on a nice wide bit and he pinned me to the ground. I was more concerned that he didn’t buckle my front wheel as he tried to lever himself up using it, than the race at that point, but at least it didn’t cost me a place.
There was a small gaggle of finishers, so not to bad, I was 11th still missing that elusive top ten finish in an NPS event then. Pilch was a fantastic 4th taking some fast scalps in the process. RESULTS and surely a podium must be on the cards especially on a hilly technical course where he should be ace. only 1 min 25 off Winner Pete Harris is good going.
I can feel optimistic that I have beaten two of the riders who were above me, so a top 10 is the next target.
These conditions are all about horesepower, not speed. Pushing that back wheel past all the packed in mud of the frame while trying to keep forward motion just aint my thing, I know my weakness.
I can do power, as long as its while I’m spinning. Does that make me a two-stoke motor with a high rev power band. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve avoided training in mud this winter, you should always face your demons.
Looking at the laps times it looks like this is going to be a very competitive category for round 2 when the gridding will be more favourable to the baby boomers of 63. Pete Harris will have a fight to keep his 100% record in races so far this year.
Stats: 11th – 3:44 behind – Laps 24:03 – 25:32 – 25:56 sure sign I bombed by going too quick at the start, but this racing is flat out from the gun, or go backwards.