SouthernXC Matterly Basin 2017

Another excuse to go to the sea side, SouthernXC Matterly Basin 2017. Winchester does not have a beach but we do not need to be persuaded to visit the folks and spend a short weekend trip to the south coast. Having got a taster for SouthernXC at the regional champs we decided to put the free weekend to good use. 

The logistics for getting everyone signed on practice laps and our category races went as planned with Alison getting her sight in first me Nate and Lils chilled out and setup camp in the arena. 

Nate was first up, his lap consisted of a grassy start/finish, then a gravel incline to the singletrack wooded copse. This zig zagged down through the trees, roots and stumps before returning to the bottom of the arena and back to the start. A 15min + laps race required plenty of support, visual and audible from all parents/helpers and its was great that all finishers received a prise water bottle from one of the sponsors to take home. 

Alison was next, fully fuelled and with her race face on! Start loop up and around the 'basin' gave the riders time to settle prior to hitting the singletrack. with 2 A-Lines 1 down and 1 up Alison was happy to keep it B and push on the climbs. 3 laps completed and with a podium place in sight you have to wonder if a couple of A-Lines could made the difference.

Feeling good 
Feeling bad 
I was in the last race of the day and feeling good, the course suited my legs/ability and I was hoping for a top 15 result. It was all going so well until the last lap when acute stitch/cramp undid my hard work on the climbs and I had to watch all the positions roll past me with ease whilst I dejectedly limped to the finished line. I have never suffered from that before and I hope a poor timing choice of gels might have been the issue.

Another great day out!

Roots and Rain (I lost 4 places on the last lap!)

MudSweatGears Rd5 Phoenix Bike Park 2017 - Scorchio!!

A welcome return to Phoenix Bike Park due to Hadleigh Farm not being available.. 
Alison getting a tan.. and putting in a storming performance to finish 4th. As always I wish we could have ridden the practice lap together as the A-Lines would save her so much time. 
Nate practising burms during the coaching sessions. The race started brilliantly with Nathan charging into 2nd place, unfortunately the leader crashed out and a debatable line choice from the following pack meant Nate was pushed back into 4th. Chasing a bit too hard resulted in two burm washouts and blooded knees on lap 2. The final lap came and Nate finished a very respectable 8th and proved to himself he can mixed it up the front.
 Lils being lils ..
Savage heat with the Garmin recording 40 degrees on the start line. I felt like i was lacking power again this race and having the leaders go off into the distance is a tad demoralising. But a epic cat and mouse battle with Revel rider Keith that ended with Paul from Push Sport leapfrogging both if us on the last lap and me sprinting to take 5th place.. 

Event results
Roots and Rain

Event Photos (mine)
Event Photo's Morning race
Event Photo's Afternoon race

National XC Dalby Forest

This was always going to be a game changer but i didn't appreciate just how much of a step up from regional and social this was going to be!

Arrival on Saturday evening we were met with rain and a big drop in temperature from the 28 degrees of the sunny south. We setup camp and the list of things I had forgotten to bring started, a cup for hot drinks!

Sunday morning and the weather was looking better but the realisation of a mountain rescue team soon hit home. Keith went out on the red loop and I started the prep for the race. The practice lap was a real eye opener, the weather had made some of the climbs unable to ride (by me!) and the technical sections living up to the black grading. I was nearly caught out by the length of time required for the practice lap and only just made the start grid. Placed on the 4th row of 5 with eight in each row. 

The pain game, I completed 5 out of 5 laps, crash 3 times and rolled into the finish line in 18th place. I was aiming for top 20 so mission accomplished.

It was all a bit too exciting for some. Bike cleanup 'Summer in Dalby'!
Remember for next time list:
Cups/Mugs for warm drinks
Single lilo