Sunday was the frist race of the season for both of us starting with a wee 100km burst around Swinley Forest. As we left dorking heading to Swinley the day looked like it was going to be very wet and by the look on Darren’s face he was not really looking forward to it (apparently he melts in the rain) but by the time we got to Swinley the rain had stopped and was alot brighter.
The race was over a 14.3km loop and we had to do 7 laps of the course. My bike of choice was my Ellwsorth Evolve and Darren rode his Speciliazed Stumpjumper so once food and drink was in place we headed for the start line and at 8.30am we were off and as usual we started near the back of the field ( we must learn to pull our finger’s out and start at the front). We headed up a gravel road then into single track which caused a small pile up as always happens at the start of the race, then it opened up a bit so passing was a bit easier and then I heard the call for MEDIC a guy had crashed in the first few minutes and smashed his face in so I turned around and went back and got help then stayed with the guy until the medics got there. I was now right at the back of the field last man actually so time to play catch up, Darren at this point had managed to worm his way up to about halfway. The course was fairly dry with only a couple of boggy bits and wound around Swinley Forest taking in some of the good bits including a few sharp climbs AKA the wall and after seven times up this puppy was happy to see the last of it, once past this point the course was fairly flat and fast with some good fun single track bits where I had the pleasure of ripping past a few guys much to their suprise…….
By the end of the first lap I had managed to catch up and pass most of the women riders so was fairly happy and now settled down into a steady pace. Most people were very friendly and it helped pass the time chatting to fellow riders with a bit of banter thrown in. The course was enjoyable and had a bit of everything for everyone and the big wheels were a god send on the open gravel tracks where it really showed its speed and made a few guys on their 26inch tyres blow as I managed to brease past them.
Darren was going so well he was having trouble keeping count of how many laps he had done even resorting to counting fingers to try and work out where he was thinking he had another lap to go but then finding out he had actually finished much to his relief .
Darrens time 7.03 and ended in 19th position in Mens so a great result given he was on a all mountain bike racing some of the race wippets on their carbon 29er speed machines.
I finished 2nd in the womans so for me was not bad effort for first race of the season and very happy with the bike it rode like a dream thanks to my mechanic (darren) and to the guys at Freeborn and Haven for all their help you guys ROCK.
So all in all a great day out, now time to get stuck into some training and big miles to get myself alot stronger and fitter for the next few big races looming.
Amanda and Darren