Soggy Bottom - Round 2, Sun 27 Jan, Newnham Park, Plymouth

Today we headed down to Newnham Park on the outskirts of Plymouth for Round 2 of the Soggy Bottom XC series.

This was to be my first race of the 2013 season riding for Hot Pursuit Cycles on my new Scott Scale 29er and with my training under eliteVelo going really well I was determined to deliver a decent result.

Racing in the Sport 16+ category meant racing in the second race of the day, which kicked off at 1:00pm along with the Elite/Expert, Masters and Veterans categories.

I did a quick warm up practice lap, stopping in a few places to get my lines dialled. It was pretty slippery in places as conditions were really wet and muddy and the track was already looking beaten up from the morning race.

Quickly jet washed the bike and got changed into my race kit and headed down to the start line. The Elite/Expert category, consisting of 9 riders were started first about a minute before the Sport 16+ category. I got a good start, second place off the line, before taking the category lead at the start of the Clif Climb.

I went out fairly hard on the first lap, pulled out over a minute gap to my nearest category rival, and managed to catch up and overtake some of the Elite/Expert riders.

Settled into a good rhythm and smashed out the next 3 laps working my way up to third position overall behind Dexter Hurlock and James Porter.

Ended up taking the Sport 16+ category win with a 5 minute lead and was so stoked to be the second fastest rider of the day behind Expert pinner Dexter Hurlock. Full race results can be found here.

Just the result I was looking for as it meant I got to wear the new soft shell jacket that Hot Pursuit kindly sorted for me on the top step of the podium -  happy days :)

New Turbo Trainer - Tacx i-Flow VR

Getting on a proper training and fitness coaching programme with eliteVelo had exposed the weakness of my knackered old turbo trainer so I decided before Christmas that I would save up for a new one.

Having just about collected enough money together and considered all the options I decided to get the Tacx i-Flow VR trainer. It comes with a nice solid frame (which should hopefully stay firmly rooted to the floor during higher intensity sessions)  and you can train with either Heart Rate or Power plus it hooks up to the internet for virtual rides and racing.

Think I'm going to be training on this quite a bit at the moment with all this savage weather, so spent some time in the garage today getting it all set up ready....sweet :)