Jon Pybus – University Mountain Bike Champs Race Report - Sunday June 10th 2012
The long awaited student mountain bike event of the year. One of my aims for this year was to win this champs, as last year I had a poor showing in 10th position. After recently finishing at Loughborough Uni doing my design course, this was my last chance at getting the title. I managed to get silver two years ago, though the gold was proving difficult to chase.
I had ridden the course a month ago in the wet, so I knew what to expect after the recent rain, it had turned into a quagmire. Last time the Racing Ralph’d did not provide enough purchase on the rutted and boggy slogs, which were supposedly climbs, you had to do it seated. I decided to use a Nic on the back to gain the extra grip, the zaskar being a 29er had the extra traction in the corners so I stuck with a ralph on the front, and choose the lines wisely, well as best as I could. Everyone knows about my lack of technical ability. As we were not allowed technical assistance I had taped the Lezyne gas pump and multi tool to the bike with a spare tube.
I warmed up on the turbo, which one other rider commented that “aren’t you taking this a bit too seriously?” well perhaps I should have sat there eating pot noodles like a stereotypical student apparently, but I stuck to my radioactive looking lime Accelerade. I got to the start line just on time to be called up onto the front row.
The starting gun went and I may have missed my pedal whoops. I dropped back into around 10th along the first flat and Dave my team mate and Bruce Dalton, were first into the first corner and started up the climb. I decided to ride it from the beginning and rode past them into the lead. The muddy climbs are still not my favorite as I have to stay seated and I always pick the lines with ruts and the wettest patches! The single track was all fairly straight forward with the clusters of supporting students, I was tempted to do the jump on the course, but I know my luck too well to risk doing one especially with a tree after the landing! Finishing the first lap I was in the lead by 20 seconds and big wheels were just absorbing the miles. Thanks to the Oakleys for keeping the majority of the mud out of my eyes, riding a course blind or one eyed could have been a lot more fun though! I was constantly getting a lap by lap update on my lead from Carla Haines’s (WXCmtb) mum, which was very helpful. By the second lap I had enough of a lead to start taking it a lot more easy (can see in my lap times) and I started to enjoy parts of the course. As I was lapping riders on the course, many of them looked more relieved that they would be able to finish, riding in our mini version of the Somme.
I was telling myself ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatched,’ I only zipped up the GT jersey and started celebrating on the finishing straight when I had a couple of 100m’s left. I had finally managed to get the title after one of my first mtb races 4 years earlier in the years student champs, coming inside the top 20.
Loughborugh managed to get the win in the Mens sport and champs race, with Dave Nichols getting third in the champs race which helped to secure team bronze along with Richard Johnson, well done lads. The girls also got team bronze which was brilliant. We had a champagne celebration and Toby I can now have a Chocolate cow! This stemmed from on the way to the Student champs in 2010 in AE forest, I saw a chocolate cow in the service station, and Toby said that if I won I could have a chocolate cow!!!! (as I also live on a farm, ‘insert stereotype’.) Time to crack out the Muc-off for a full race bike strip down.
p.s. Chis, I didn’t wear any socks which were offensive to the eyes, they looked professional.
Thanks to all the sponsors of GT Racing UK for the Help:
GT – Awesome lightweight race bikes.
SRAM – Amazing XX components which are reliable in the mud and dry.
Schwalbe – Unstoppable tires in all conditions.
Muc-off – products that make things sparkly.
Accelerade – Race Nutrition products bright green and radioactive!
Eyewear Outlet – Great Oakleys for the Sun and Mud!
Crankbrothers – Vital components at a lightweight, seatpost and bars