(factory Mountain Cycle rumble after the last XC race). So the last few winters i have hit up the odd xc event, with around 12 riders at a national UK 4x (they dont do area races) in masters the sports dead on the ground, only made up of media and DH south west champs this year may not run because a lack of riders.. As for trail riding/ all mtn shredding and XC it booming here in the UK and im glad to be part of it and mix it up with my freeriding, with around 60 masters at the local winter races its clear where riders and sales are at and sponsors can also see this. My winter races have been hard work, a rider i once thrash every time now was doing a lap a few mins quicker than me and i have been working on getting my xc speed up, so this year i did the Haldon summer mid week races, tracks are simple but racings still racing and good hard fun, first race i did real well, i had a battle with a rider for most of the race, i would drop him on the dh and he would smoke me on the flats and climbs, with a lap to go in the short 1 hour race he dropped me but i was happy with my ride, Haldon race 2 and i got off to a quicker start but mid race that guy i had a battle with past me and with a lap to go i got a flat as i fadded in the pack.. So next i hit up the big Circus of dirt series, Stacked with fast xc racers and a race would be over 2 hours long.. The track was tech and i had high hopes of doing a good ride, the rider that i did battle at haldon was again in this race and was about 30/40 seconds ahead of me for most of the race, On the last lap i closed in on him but just as i got on his wheel i bonked big time and he would end the race some 4 mins+ ahead, but i was still happy with my ride and that guy that was smoking me in the winter events had a bad race and i finished still ahead of him even after a slow end to my race..things were on the up even if i was just out side the top 20... Next week and its the last of the haldon races, again fast and simple track, I got off the line well but starting near the back and the dust was thick and i hit a football size rock in the middle of the pack and almost ended my race in the opening climb, this fired me up and i got aggressive, put in a real strong ride and felt better on the climbs this time out, Even better, the rider i have been racing with ever event finished a few seconds behind me, i came in 7th.. few weeks of trainig and we hit the next circus of dirt event, another 2 hour race on a tech race track, off the line and i soon found myself on the dudes back wheel again! this time i felt he was holding me up on the climbs and lap 2 made my move, and pushed hard, also passing the guy that was killin me in the winter races, the last two laps (of a 6 lap race) were some of the hardest in my life, i was dead on my feet.. but i kept digging for all i was worth, i came in a strong 11th and felt like i would be so much stronger after such a hard race, so now were getting on a roll, we still have a lot work to get back to my old xc speed but we have one round of the Circus of Dirt to go and its on the hardest/steepest track of the year and its also doubles up as the south west xc champs, time to train a bit harder and hope i finish again ahead of the guys and start to focus on riders further up the pack to finish ahead of. After that its time to bust out some photo shoots and ride the bigger bikes again.
ramble over, time to train..