Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Gorrick Brass Monkeys Rd1

The past weekend I raced in the first round of the Gorrick Brass Monkeys winter series. This was to be my first race since early July as my South Downs Double preparation and a month of illness mean I didn't have much chance to race in the second half of the summer so I was keen to use the race to set a fitness benchmark for my training over the next few months.

The field was pretty strong, although being winter most people are not really race fit, myself included. From the gun it was clear that Tim Dunford was the man to beat. He cruised away on the first lap and I simply didn't have enough speed to get myself across the gap. As the race settled down I found my self riding with Luke Eggar in 2nd/3rd place. We were soon joined by Ian Payne and enjoyed a nice chat as we smashed round the lumpy single track heavy race circuit.
I decided to try and race from the front so set a nice tempo which I knew that I could sustain for the duration of the race but was hopefully wearing down the guys on my wheel. The plan worked and as we reached the half way mark the chatting in the group stopped so I decided that it was now the time to attack! I rode pretty hard for half a lap to establish the gap then once again settled into cruise control mode for the reminder of the race. Towards the end of the race I faded a little, mainly due to the short steep power climbs on the course which required a burst of aerobic energy to get up. I'm well aware that this is my weakness, a side effect of endurance racing, so it served as a good reminder of the aspects of my fitness that require attention over the winter.

I finished second which was quite pleasing, however Tim won by nearly 13minutes in a very convincing manner. I'd have liked to have finished closer, although I know that my enduro legs cant compete with those of a top elite xc racer over the 4h distance. It has certainly given me motivation to train though and finishing closer at the next round is a nice short term aim in the run up to christmas.

Now to step up the training...

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