Dartmoor Classic, 23 June

Wind, rain and hail but still a cracking event. Gold medal and joint 4th fastest time of the day (out of 2449 riders) for the 100K....not too bad for an MTBer!

Juice Lubes South West XC Series - Thank You

This years Juice Lubes South West XC Series was a great race series with each of the rounds producing fantastic prizes but the goodies for the series win were simply awesome!!!

A huge box of practically every single Juice Lubes product....

....and there was more - another bag contained a voucher for a Kask helmet of your choice! Unbelievably generous, so I chose this beauty....

and Claire from Juice Lubes very kindly hand delivered it the same evening!

So just wanted to say a massive thank you to Claire and everyone at Juice Lubes for supporting the series and providing the fab prizes and to Jay and Maddie and everyone else at Fully Sussed for laying on a great seasons racing - it's been rad!

Juice Lubes South West XC Series - Round 3, Sun 16 June, Woodbury Common, Exeter

So, this weekend saw the final round of the Juice Lubes South West Series at Woodbury Common.

After spending most of Saturday at the grand opening of the new Hot Pursuit Cycles shop in Kingsteignton we headed up to Woodbury in the late afternoon for the Hot Laps event.

The Hot Laps course was longer than previous events but was essentially a flat, tight and twisty blast though the trees. I did a couple of laps on my old 26" bike but the back brake was not working so swapped over to the 29er. Did a couple more laps before posting a pretty quick lap of 2:00min dead and then called it night, hoping that would be enough to take the win.

Up and out early on Sunday as the race was starting at 10. Did my usual warm up and then headed out to the start line.

photo: Snapper Chick
Got off to a pretty poor start as I desperately tried to get clipped in - trying new Crank Bros Egg Beater pedals for this race.....yep, they're not for me and they'll be coming right back off again as I wasted a lot of race time trying to get clipped in.....XT pedals for the win!

Anyhow I managed to get back in the lead but I came into a downhill section with 2 line choices, went for the A line but rain that morning (and not having pre-ridden the track that day) saw me slide out on some wet roots and crash, losing a bunch of time in the process. The chasing pack rode the B line and passed me.

An eventful race.....
I rode super hard for the rest of the lap and got back into the lead once again by the end of the lap. I was leading into the main descent on the second lap and decided to try and pull out a gap on the descent but I went into the 'Nod Off' a bit to hot and went over the bars, slammed my back into a tree and winded myself. Eventually got back on, but once again had to chase down Adam King (Cardiff JIF) who was now leading.

Got back on his wheel going into the main climb and then passed and rode away from him to pull a gap. Settled into a better rhythm for the remainder of the race until a younger rider fell off, blocking the singletrack in front of me. I stopped to make sure he was OK before an adult came along and took over and I continued my race.

Top step on the podium!
Stoked to have taken the win despite a fairly messy race and to also take the series junior win ending on 239 points out of a possible 240!

Huge thanks to everyone at Fully Sussed and Juice Lubes for all their hard work in providing a fantastic South West XC Race Series..............really gutted it's over now though :(

BMBS XC Series - Round 3, Hopton Woods, Shropshire

Picked up my bike from Hot Pursuit on Friday evening. Race prepped and a new set of Crossmax wheels fitted....cheers guys!

Early Saturday morning we loaded up the van and headed north up the M5 to Hopton Woods to get a practice lap in prior to Sunday's race. On arrival around lunchtime we got registered and then headed straight out for a practice lap.

The track was amazing with one huge climb to the top and a sweet descent with a couple of intermediate climbs on the way back down. All the descents were flat out and not overly technical but had lots of line choices to keep things interesting.

Sunday morning we got to Hopton early and watched some of the first race before heading back to the van to do a turbo warm up and then got down to the start line.

Unfortunately, due to my DNF at the previous round I was gridded near the back of the field making the start much more difficult than it should have been with the top riders making a break from the off.

photo: Andy Whitehouse
I attacked at the start of the climb and began to move through the field and settled into a good rhythm.

At the end of the first lap I was up to 9th position and continued moving upwards throughout the race to finish knocking on the door of the top 5 in a respectable 6th place which I was super happy with having only been racing XC for just over a year now and this being only my 3rd ever National race.

photo: Mike Adams Photography
There is more work to do but I'm really looking forward to another hilly race at Margam where I should be further up the grid which should enable me to get a better start....can't wait!