The second round of the Thetford MTB Racing winter series took place on the 5th of December, offering the option ride as many laps as possible over either 2 or 4 hours. The sub-zero snowy weather of the previous two weeks gave way to 1-4 °C and left open sections of the course covered in melting snow. The course stuck to the drier “Brandon Country Park” side of the forest taking in many of the best sections of single track on that side of the forest with the start/finish accessed from Fire Road 6.
As usual, Thetford MTB put on a great event and provided motivation for a full field of 500 riders to get out and ride in the cold.
Cambridge had a good turnout for the event with multiple finishers in both the 4 hour and 2 hour events.
I was joined in the 4 hour event by Gordon Hollingworth who came in 14th 2 laps back while Jason Bouttell was 47th in the 2hour male race. Andrew Strickland also rode the hour event, finishing in 58th in the vets category.
Other local riders involved were tri ride regular Jared Walbridge who finished 31st in the 2 hour race Cambridge tri 31st on 4 laps and one time chain-gang regular Steve Hubbard who finished 25th in the 4 hour vets class.
At the start, Steve James (AW cycles) led out with Paul Ashby (Fat Birds CC) and I in close attendance. We quickly established a gap and settled down to start knocking out the laps. Near the end of Lap 1 Paul suffered a puncture which put him out of contention. Steve and I took turns to lead laps with our pace gradually slowing as the course deteriorated due to melting snow. We were lapping in just over half an hour so we would be doing 8 laps in total.
At the end of lap 7 I put in an attack attack on the climb up to the start/finish area.
After attacking, I quickly got a gap but then felt like I was pedalling through treacle, I couldn’t extend my lead but Steve couldn’t close it either. Over the top and through the start/finish, I kept the pressure on and managed to stretch the lead to over 15 seconds as I started the last lap. I was flat out for the whole lap, extending the gap until the bottom of the final two climbs. I was suddenly seeing stars and the last two climbs were a real struggle. I crawled over the line in 1st place with Steve coming in 20 seconds later.
The series takes a break now for Christmas, returning for the final two rounds on January the 30th and February the 27th. Both races would be a great way for anyone in the club to get taste of off road racing.
Labels: MTB Race