MSG 2013 Eastern Series round 4 – Ickworth

A bit late in blogging this but a busy weekend again, and took some recovering from.

Friday night brought a visit to a great new FNSS venue at Shuckborough Hall, this was too good to miss. The course was almost all woodland single track with some stiff climbs, so on went the 30T ring in an attempt in restraint.
Basically the story of the night was that I have never ridden so comfortably for a third place and feel I could have quite easily won that on any other weekend, but there you go it was great relaxed fun and gave me a confidence boost for the Sunday MSG race.
Rd4 lap
The Ickworth House MSG course was a surprise, from the picture running anti-clockwise the start was uphill before some a short swooping drop back to the first bomb-hole then climbing steeply into the woods where it pretty much remained for the whole lap. The final fast burst back onto grass finished with a steep bomb-hole and a short blast to the line.

Leading off the line again by the time we had climbed to the woods I knew there was trouble. It didn’t feel good and as Pilch, and two others flew past this was like no MSG race before it. I had no response and as we quickly hit traffic that seemed intent on crashing into each other I quickly lost sight of the leaders. After crossing the line for lap 1 and entering the open climb they were already dropping back down, James Darcy and Robert Jackson who had both beaten me in Gorrick races were away with Pilch. Recovery once again didn’t come easy in the woods so it was just a case of keeping smooth and calm in the traffic saving every second where possible.

Lap 3 start and again chance to assess the leaders, Jackson was gone but I could still see Pilch and James, digging deep into the red and it was three man train, the podium was back on my panic eased. Into the second part of the super singletrack wood it was getting too easy, James was cruising out of the tight corners and Pilch looked happy to just follow him.  I was worried Jackson was getting away, so I tried to gee Pilch on by saying so and going for it, he didn’t seem to want me to lead so I tucked in and did my best to push him harder by shouting out our growing gap to James at each switchback.

Trying a fast line in the final bomb hole as a potential last lap overtake and it was onto Lap 4,  grabbing a bottle It dawned on me that Pilch hadn’t drunk much for a pretty warm day, and at the same time Jackson just appeared there in striking distance. Feeling suddenly elated I swept by and gunned for the first bomb hole and climb to the woods, I’d settled for 4th a few laps ago and now I was leading. Pilch again recovered better than me and once again passed and led into the woods, the Plumz train was back in business as we swept by the faster vets wheel to wheel, the next two laps were a blur as we never let up.

It was now Jackson we caught sight of occasionally and there was no time for any cat and mouse on the last lap, it was still a flat out head down blast. I’d like to have led, any false move from a backmarker could be fatal, but I just could not summon the speed, Pilch was riding brilliantly and I could not pass. In the last woods section I gave it everything but as the trail headed upwards once more I started to die and I could sense the shadow still there.

I inwardly shouted at myself, I hadn’t given up Fridays win to be 2nd, and went again even though I was spent. this was legs not lungs, ignore the lactic and go. It was fortunate that the last section was quite bumpy, the Anthem laid the power down well and Pilch said he was bucked about a bit. I think I passed a slower rider just before a corner too which helped. I flew into the final bomb hole got too much air and messed it up a bit but still got out quick, and that was it; a win from the depths, well chuffed

Rd4 bombhole
As you can see by the grass I seemed to have my own line here at the final bomb hole

So two wins a piece after 4 rounds although Mick is still in the driving seat after my puncture at Thetford, they cant all be as hard as this though, can they.

Rd4 podium
A long way up for tired legs

The lap times show we should both be more confident in our endurance as it all came good at the end.

1 6 01:26:10 191
Jack Peterson
Numplumz Mountainbikers –
00:13:54 00:14:29 00:14:19 00:14:22 00:14:42 00:14:24
2 6 01:26:13 00:00:03 192
Mick Pilcher
Numplumz Mountainbikers –
00:13:46 00:14:36 00:14:21 00:14:20 00:14:43 00:14:27
3 6 01:26:59 00:00:49 656
Robert Jackson
WDMBC Beyond Mountainbikes/Specialized –
00:13:47 00:14:23 00:14:25 00:14:40 00:14:45 00:14:59
4 6 01:27:47 00:01:37 799
James  D`Arcy
Southdownsbikes –
00:13:45 00:14:38 00:14:23 00:14:31 00:15:25 00:15:05

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