The seventh round of the CXNE Series took place on a Saturday last weekend, talk about being lucky, mam and dad jetted off to sunny Spain on the Sunday so I would have missed the race otherwise!
Dad and me were the first people to arrive at the venue that morning, dad’s pre-race nerves had struck again, we’ve got to get there in good time y’know! We had a walk to scope the course out and we soon had a mutual respect for the team that put it together: Steps? *check* Hurdles? *check* Sandpit? *check* ….and mud? *check*, we knew it was going to be a tricky ride.
Time to overcome the nerves, saddled up and got a few practice laps under our belt, I came away from this with a two stone heavier bike from the accumulated mud. We were prepared for this though as dad had just purchased a snazzy new jet-washer which soon became my new best friend!
After cleaning down the bike I headed to the start line to be greeted again with a fantastic turn out for the ladies race. The first few were called out and gridded in the order: Nicola, Jen, Bev and then me! The gun went off and we sprinted away, we stuck it out together until Jen got a puncture and sadly had to pull out of the race.
Nicola and Bev then dropped the hammer and charged forwards, I stayed with them however this only lasted a lap until I was really feeling it. My thighs were starting to scream at me!
I was working it by myself from this point although it wasn’t plain sailing, I came off several times in the mud, often to my own laughter! The race seemed longer than normal, I’d put that down to the course conditions but I’m certainly not complaining, it was a really fun trail to ride.
It is however fair to say I was happy when I crossed the finish line. Almost as soon as I’d come off the bike I was called to the podium to stand in third place alongside Bev who took second and the powerhouse Nicola in first. I was overjoyed to be standing on the podium with such great riders!
There's no CXNE race this weekend coming so I’m going to use the extra time to get some training under my belt in order to catch up to Bev, I'll get you eventually! ;-)
One big THANK YOU going out to the lovely Alan Draffan for the fab photos, you can see more of his work here: Alan Draffan Photosport.
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