on Saturday morning I woke up and knew that no one else was getting to that first corner first…
I’ve got a friend who some days at races looks fast before he even gets on the bike. From the moment he steps out of the car you can tell if he’s going to win or not. You wander over and say hello, ask how he’s feeling and when it’s his day he simply glances up and mumbles the word, “good”. At the 2nd round of my local summer XC series I felt good.
The first round had seen consistently dry trails, but heavy rain the night before had created a mixed bag – very slippy thick mud punctuated the quickly drying singletrack. After a quick warm-up we headed to the line where I was pleased to grab the dry line before the rest of the riders filtered in. Banter and jokes were all around but I only had eyes for that first corner. The whistle went and up the hill we rode, leading into the new fur wood section I knew the first battle was won.
“Out of sight out of mind”.
It’s crucial to break up the group early on such a tight twisty course and once the other riders can no longer see you it’s possible to relax a little. I worked hard for the next few laps to do this.
Over the last few laps I decided to really see what was possible and upped the pace again. It was good training and I learned a lot about how hard I could push the bike which will be useful for future rounds. Normally at races I start to make errors on the penultimate lap, but this time I felt pretty comfortable even when the rain started. I was relieved to role across the line in 1st place in my 202nd race. Great course and organisation from Bedgebury CC as always.
- Glen Whittington (SDW)
- Nick Stacey (Repack CC)
- Tate Dorton (unattached)
Photos by Charlie Richardson, Natelie Foreman and Malcolm Stoddart.
Glen rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. He races Mountain bikes in the UK National XC Points and Eastern XC Series, Road bikes in the Surrey, South-East and Eastern Leagues, TT in the South East Region and ‘Cross in the LCCA League. He receives personal support from Helly Hansen, The Velo House, and the.æight.bicycle.cømpany @eightbikeco #aeightracer
Glen runs The Velo House with Olly, a coffee shop, workshop and bike shop welcoming all cyclists and even well behaved non-cyclists. We’re based at 5 St.Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9TN – 01892 554 505 – firstname.lastname@example.org. @thevelohouse #thevelohouse