Training, waiting and racing

Monday 7th June 2010

by MikeC

It’s been a couple of weeks since my win at Richmond, the weather has been quite kind so I’ve been doing a fair bit of bike riding. With the Arthur Caygill road race cancelled the bank holiday weekend was an excellent invite to do lots of peddling. To compensate for the cancelled hilly road race Rob Wheeler (aka Badger) and myself decided to have a run out into the North Yorkshire hills to seek out some steep climbs. The first was the climb out of Swainby up to Cod Beck then out to tackle the beast of Boltby bank. I had heard quite bad things about this climb and was eager to tame the beast. The climb soon ramps to a steady 15-20%, quickly steepens to 25%, goes around a corner and it’s all over, granted I was breathing very very hard but it wasn’t half as bad as I had expected and no where near as hard a blakey bank. We then looped to Hawnby, over the moor road towards Osmotherly into a strong head-wind and by this point Rob had blown quite badly…….poor lad. It was mostly downhill to Swainby then flat roads home. On the Monday I showed Niall around the best mtb trails in Guisborough woods and the local moor. A slippy off camber corner caught me out and I went sliding along the track laughing and cursing at the same time much to Niall’s amusement. He’s a Scottish lad so is used to technical trails and was quite impressed with our local stomping ground.

This past weekend was my first real opportunity to ride the Dalby World Cup XC course ahead of Nutcracker round 3 this coming weekend. I hadn’t ridden the course since last May so I was keen to get a couple of laps in. I met Niall there and we set off for some fun mountain biking. The course had changed slightly for the World Cup back in April and we had to stop and ride some sections a few time to get the correct lines dialled in. At race pace it’s going to be a very physical course. We lapped the course twice then continued onto the 24 mile red route, stopping for a coffee to perk us up. It was a hot day and we ended with 4 hours in the saddle. Not perfect preparation for the road race on Sunday.

With the weather forecast not favouring us, me, Rob W and Chris W headed to Northumberland expecting a wet race but didn’t see a spot of rain until 15 minutes into the journey home………bonus! The race was for 4th cat’s only and had a big field of 70 riders on the undulating Scot’s gap course. With 3 laps to complete it wasn’t a long race but one I felt a break could work. I made two big attacks on the first lap but had no-one for company so sat up. The pace was quite brisk and I policed any attack by going with them. By the end of lap 2 it was obvious that it was going to be decided on the final climb of Middleton bank. At the bottom of the climb I was in the wrong position and soon realised my legs didn’t want to play anymore so tried to gauge my effort to the finish line. Chris W was well placed at the start of the climb and went with the lead group to finish 7th making that his best result ever! Excellent work my friend! Saying that he did bugger all during the race so I’m not surprised he felt quite fresh…..good race tactics if you want a result.

It’s Nutcracker 3 at Dalby this Sunday and I’m looking forward to riding one of my favourite xc race courses as fast as I possibly can.

One Response to “Training, waiting and racing”

  1. Badger Says:

    May one add that the day before the beasty ride i had done 60 hard with the crew, who had the fresh legs there boss ha. Made a strong attack on the derwent race, but got chased down by M c, my own team mate mwahhhhh ;-). P.s good blog matey!!

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