Since my last update in May at the 12/24 UK & European Champs, it was onto the Erlstoke 6hr. This race was a fill in, where I would race over the weekend and then travel down to Cornwall for a family holiday.
The weather was amazing and I started well, but during the first lap I had a fast and hard crash which hurt my back and meant I had dashed all hopes of a good finish. As the sun was shining and the course was fun, I carried on for a few more laps enjoying it and then finished early with a trip to the pub!
Next I went on to The Bristol Bikefest which ended up being another glorious weekend weather wise. I started mid pack off the line and tried to go as hard as I could to get up with some of the front runners early in the race. After 5 laps Rach informed me I had moved up into 2nd place (vets), 2 minutes behind the leader (John Buchan)and 5 minutes ahead of 3rd (Rob Lee). I battled hard in the heat and managed to secure my first podium of the year, finishing in 2nd place behind John.
Then it was time for Mountain Mayhem were I was racing in the Team JMC vets team with Phil, Budge and Andy. The weather forecast wasn’t quite as nice as the last two events I’d been at, and with the new venue I think we were all a little apprehensive! The race started dry but the first downpour came as I went out for my first lap. Phil had already been and I was out 2nd, I think after 4 laps when we had all been out, it wasn’t the most enjoyable course we’d ridden! We worked hard throughout the day and night though and ended up 5th in the vets cat and had a good weekend!
This then leads me to last weekend and the Thetford Summer Enduro 6hr. We were supposed to be travelling down to the race on the Friday afternoon but after being ill at work, decided to wait to see if I was feeling better Saturday morning, which I was. So we arrived around 11 o’clock and got signed on. Rach set up in the feed zone and I got myself to the start line. I wanted to get a good start to stay away from traffic going into the singletrack. The course was dry and very fast but also bumpy which took its toll on the body.
After the second lap, Rach informed me I was leading by 3 mins, so obviously I’d been racing with the guys doing the pairs race! 3 hrs in and I was starting to feel bad again, headache and nausea, plus I was having a bad dose of Thetford back! Rach passed me a bottle whilst heading out for another lap and told me I was now in 2nd, having been passed by a very young xc whippet and he was pulling 3 min a lap on me! I still had a good gap on 3rd though so I managed to plod to the end and secure my second podium of the year in 2nd place.
Now it’s a rest week followed by a couple of hard weeks training before we head down to Plymouth to race in The Bontrager 24/12 – one of my favourites on the calendar. I’m in the 12 hour torch bearer this year. Jason Miles is also racing down there, so hopefully we can both do well and then enjoy a family holiday (plus beer!) the week after!