Two more races since Cosford, Milton Keynes bowl was just before the Hopton BXC race but I love the MK venue, and didn’t have high hopes in my climbing power for the Hopton course, so it was two races in two days.
With Pete missing battle resumed with the MI Racing pair. Another trademark Jack Rabbit start gave me the jump into the first woods but soon both Pete Busby and Tim Stowe were past into the second section. Tim had problems leaving Pete to lead out and I tucked on his wheel for two laps.
I’d chosen the Lurcher with beaver mud tyres, which was great on the soft off camber banks initially but as the race wore on they packed down, and the tyres started to drag.
I didn’t have my usual power punch up the bowl inclines, and my head for the win went, 2nd was a good option and I lost the will to chase maybe thinking about keeping a bit back for Sunday. So when Tim passed at speed having sorted his dropped chain issues, I was a bit gutted, 3rd again seems to be my place.
Mallory Park next on a rare balmy sunny evening, again Pete Harris was missing and the course was superb, technical steep banks and fast wood sections on a full lap of the Motor racing circuit, but off road.
A head cold and tough work period left me feeling a bit disinterested, but there I learnt something, as turning the pedals felt easy on the pre-lap. I initially thought it was just the smooth Anthem setup compared to the well worn Lurcher as my walking legs were weary, but as the race started it was a different story.
I felt as good as ever and led for 3/4 of the first lap, even getting some good speed on the open flat sections. I can only think a good non bike active recovery period had kept the cycling muscles sweet, rather than stiffening up by being relatively dormant. Perhaps less sitting on my backside in future.
Tim soon passed but this time I could keep him in sight, and even caught up to and diced with Vet Lloyd Bettles, unheard of in recent years. Mentally I was on fire and amazed I was going so well, after lap 1 I never saw Pete Busby and Mick Pilch, so that was a first too.
So second place at last, and similar lap times to Pete apart from the last lap, if I can shake this cold it’s back to the battle of the East next, hope I haven’t peaked to soon!
there is some great flying camera footage from Mallory TOP VIDEO