Pedal 2 Pedal riders Fred, Edith, Charlie and Seb headed to the glorious Wasing Estate for round 3 of the Southern XC series. Fred, Edith and Charlie raced in the u9s race and I (Seb)raced in the open race.
This was Charlie’s first race and Edith had unfinished business here as a crash last year resulted in an unfortunate dnf. In a change from the usual 2 lap race, the u9’s race was lengthened to 3 laps.
Everyone got away safely at the start with a grassy straight and long fireroad stretching the field out before they hit the singletrack. The singletrack twists and turns through an undulating bluebell wood, before returning to the arena area. Fred lapped in 3rd place with the 4thand 5th riders on his tail. Unable to drop them, Fred hung on, but slipped down a bit on the final lap to come in a hard-fought 5th place. Edith had a solid race with consistent lap times to come in a commendable 4th. Charlie rode brilliantly in his first race, kept up a great pace and showed great stamina to over the long 3 laps to come in a great 13th place. Well done all!!
I swapped from the vet 5 lap race to the 3 lap open race following a back injury in round 1 and taking a realistic look at the pace I could sustain for the length of the race. I also took a long practice lap as I hadn’t raced here before, but had heard about the technical sections. These included a gap jump, drops, steps and a huge drop. I rode and was happy in practice with all the A-lines bar the huge drop and took the B-line rollable option instead. Come race time the A-line was shut anyway due to earlier injuries sustained there in the earlier races. Heal up well all those who took a tumble there.
My (Seb) race was quite eventful. I had a poor start as usual, but pulled it back on the climbs. On lap 2 I overshot the gap jump landing, but luckily didn’t head off through the tape!. Battling with a similarly paced group of 3 riders, I put a big effort in towards the end, but then crashed on a loose corner and lost my just gained places. Finally I came in 22nd. Happy enough with that though.
A great morning’s racing by all. Well done.