The course was a mix of singletrack and fire road with technical bits dotted through the trees. The first technical A/B line I decide on the B line, not too convinced in my ability to manual for the double log drop. There was then a sharp left hand bend to a fire road climb which I found tough but manageable. After the climb the course worked its way back into the woods and soon the next technical feature was in sight this was a series of log steps, after watching someone roll over them I had a go and found, as with most technical ground, keeping momentum was the key to success! I had another go to make sure I was entirely happy and found a slightly better line straight down the middle which felt a bit smoother.
The next A/B/C line which had been heavily featured on social media and was interesting to say the least! I decided the B line was the best option and had two goes to make absolutely certain I was happy.
The rest of the course made its way through the forest with a couple more A/B lines to choose from. I enjoyed the course and felt happy. Lining up on the start I got a good start leaving the arena in 4th place, the first climb was hard on me as it always takes me a while to kick into gear!
I was at the back of the field and got over taken by a few riders, I worked hard to pull them back and by my third lap had overtaken four people (not in my category) my plan was to keep consistent lap times which I accomplished.
I had a slight dilemma on my third lap when I reached for a gel to find they were all gone! They must have dropped out around the course. I had a little bit of a panic but knew that all I could do was keep going and just drink more of my High Five 4:1.
- Lap 1: 22.24
- Lap 2: 22.37
- Lap 3: 22.42
- Lap 4: 23.14
- Lap 5: 23.35
I finished happy with my progress finishing only 12 mins behind Cat Ross which is a huge improvement on two weeks ago! It would have been interesting to see if I had been able to have another gel whether that would have made the difference in my final lap times however, my lap times are a lot more consistent than usual which is one of my targets, so overall my best race so far this year and looking forward to Nationals next week!
Thank you to Southern XC for putting on great courses. Thanks to Karen and Fred for picking me up and cheering me on, well done to Fred who came second in his race Karen who came sixth in hers and Edith who started her first race. Great progress all round for the Pedal 2 Pedal team
Thanks to Grip Grab, Bike Fixers and Dog Tag.
Words – Hannah Attenburrow
Full results from Round 2 of the Southern XC Series can be found via RootsandRain.com