First UCI C1 race of the season. It was a great weekend of hard racing, alongside foreign pro’s and a lot of mates. There was also great support from all the spectators, which I wasn’t always able to acknowledge unfortunately. It was boiling weekend with blazing sunshine, well on the Sunday, on the saturday you would have needed a fog horn on the bike.
Crack out the Oakleys awesome weather!
Sunday was awesome except a few minor mishaps, but you learn from your problems. We got our supply of Schwalbe tires and I decided to have Fred (Furious Fred)on the back, though I wasn’t brave enough for one on the front as well, I thought the time that you saved on the fire road I would loose tree and bush hunting on the corners. Had to have a ron on the front, go for more grip which was the perfect combo. The Zaskar was all race ready with the new carbon Crank Brothers components and it was actually flippin light for a 29er gate!
The start I was in 43rd surrounded by 80 other riders, everyone waiting for the start cannon well it sounded like someone had blown a car tyre off its rim. The start was rapid and everyone was trying to stay on their bikes after some pile ups in the morning races. It was like being a in a road race I managed to roughly hold my position then we hit the first single track. I may as well have got out my deck chair and had a cup of tea the amount of time we were sat there waiting for the riders in front to move. Next time ill attach one to the bike, I wonder if Lezyne do one that I could put in their saddlebag! The first lap flew by getting stuck in the single track sections behind slower riders and I started to move my way forwards. I didn’t manage to have any Accelerade on the first lap as you were nailing most sections, probably looked slower from the spectators perspective. The 2nd lap was my quickest lap with a few sections getting stuck behind other riders but mostly it wasn’t too bad. The GT Zaskar was gliding over the bumps and it was just so much fun to ride on, I was actually loving the race. the third lap I had managed to get into the top 30 and was progressing then I burped the front going round a tight corner. I tried riding it semi flat thinking i could get away with it, but the bike was going sideways on the corners. I was forced to stop and inject some CO2 in the tyre. I didn’t want to loose the new shiny Lezyne pump so I put it up my Endura skin suit, that was possibly a mistake, it was freezing!! I managed to overtake the riders that had overtaken me whilst I was pumping up the tyre. Then the rear partially went going round another singletrack off camber section on the forth lap, I was going to have to try and be light footed I realised, not the easiest task for someone of my stature.
Hitting the technical section before the start of the final lap a junior rider was in front and decided to stop on a corner causing me to turn to tight and burping the front tyre again, arse! I managed to ride it to the pits and Chris (GT Racing UK Team Manager) and Ian ( Ed’s dad) Pumped up the tyre whilst Steve gave me some Energy drink, Then I set off chasing the riders that had gotten past whilst I was stopped, I didn’t manage to catch the riders in front and finished the race in 42nd, which was a bit annoying but the race was good fun and I know that I have it in me to do a lot better. Next time i’ll learn from my mistakes and i’ll be near the front of the field.
Thanks to all the sponsors, help from everyone and support from the people in the crowd that I know. Time to get the muc off out and clean of the bike, in the glorious sunshine!