Monday, 23 March 2009

Student champs

What a fun weekend!

This weekend was the student championships, at UK Bike Park in sunny Dorset. I trundled down in my van on Saturday morning in brilliant sunshine, it seemed more like summer.


Saturday I put in a few practice laps. The course was based on the side of a super steep hill. There was a flattish single track section at the beginning of the lap before climbing up the 4x track. Then there was the most amazing descent, a few fast berms and table tops before traversing a short rock garden and a bed of roots. It then switched right and down the hill through a series of super steep switch backs. Then we rode around the base of the hill and back up a hellishly steep climb to the arena. The lap was fairly short, only 20minutes for me, but it meant more fun descents and more heckling from the crowd on race day!

Saturday afternoon I watched the DH championships and soaked up the atmosphere, before watching a bit of the floodlit 4x racing in the evening. Then it was off to bed in order to be fresh for the race, although that is easier said than done with a field full of partying students!
video
On race day the sun was still shining. The XC sport race took place in the morning and I started at 1 o’clock in the championship race, time to put on the colour car crash that is my uni kit! It was extra bad this year, red bike, yellow kit, green and white helmet and pink glasses!!

The start was ok. I managed to be around the top 15 going into the single track. The descent was a little crowded the first lap but after the climb back to the finish it thinned out a bit. The first lap reminded me why I don’t race XC anymore! After that I settled into a good rhythm and hoped that every one else would blow, knowing that I would stay consistent. The next laps I made every effort to style it up over the jumps to please the crowd. At some points on the descents the noise was deafening, such a great atmosphere.


I finished 10th. Fairly pleased as it was what I was aiming for, but defiantly worth doing for the atmosphere alone.

A few easy days are called for now. I forgot how brutal XC is on the body. Next weekend it’s some more road racing.

Keep an eye out for my race report on the Mtb websites soon as well.

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