Today, was the first of two cross races at Kelso this year. We arrived in time to watch the start of the 11:30 race which was full of tight races. Also I found out BCC racer Mark Gray won the M3 race. The cadet junior race provided some great racing some nice spills to capture on camera. The course was slick in most places and downright muddy in others.
We lined up and admired a few of the costumes being worn, like Peter Mogg dressed as the Master A national champ, Rod Oliver well, he just didn’t change from Friday night, Batman, and the Mummy also made appearances. I wasn’t sure of either my riding or my legs after taking a week off the bike to rest my achilles. So I started off conservatively keeping my power down and keep upright the best I could. Nathan took off on the first lap and opened up a commanding lead. Erik, Hines, Morse and myself tussled around for a lap. I was getting comfortable on the slick course, and used an off camber section to pass Erik on the inside, almost crashing out but I managed to keep it up and rode up to Hines who slid out on a corner at the end of the second lap. Which left me in 2nd with a slight gap. While coming through the lap I noticed Nathan switching bike, which I later learned was due to a puncture. It allowed me to catch him and I was able to pass him on the flat muddy power section, leading into the one (big) climb. I opened up a good gap as Nathan struggled on his spare bike. I was able to settle into my own pace which was nice cause the course very tough especially the first half which left the second half for recovery. I was able to open the gap up a little each lap, which was good cause if I need to do a bike change it would have affected my lap times to jump on my C bike.(equipped with lights and all) Bretton Matthews rode my Jake again in the 11:30 race and it was a little muddy so I opted to use my back up backup bike. Once I hit the top of the climb on the last lap I just relaxed and rode in, the last couple laps really took their toll on my legs and I even walked over the last set of barriers.
Tommorow looks like it will be more of the same, we’ll see how the legs feel, but im looking forward to it.
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