Monday, 14 April 2008

First Race...

Went well :)

I've used up the gardening metaphor already, so I'll have to employ the cooking analogy this time... training's like making a soufflé for a dinner... lots of preparation and if you look too soon it'll flop and you'll look stupid.

Saturday was the first round of the National Points Series and our first race of the season. We've looked back at our last few years riding and made changes to try and avoid the mental and physical slump that we have in June/July. To that end we decided not to race earlier than April and back off the Z5-6 stuff till a little later in the season.

Anyhow, the oven was opened on Saturday and I'm well chuffed to say we both ended up with smiles.... Paula with her first ever Elite Women podium (although you can see she hates standing up there... if it were me you'd have to drag me off, P can't get off quick enough!).

It was great to see her up there, she's worked really hard, fought the fear of re-braking her collar bone (twice last year, with 2 op's was enough!) and focussed on her weaknesses. I'm a sadly proud husband/coach/training partner.

For me... firstly I've hummed and harred (agonised would be too strong) over whether to race masters or elite since last September. I lost that loving feeling last year after focussing totally on mtb racing and made the choice to mix it up this year and move across (down?) to masters. Any doubt I had disappeared when I watched the elites line up... not where I wanted to be (nevermide the extra lap they had to do), lining up with Sam Gardner et al. was enough challenge for me!

I struggle with long race reports... they tend to overuse the words 'I' 'me' 'would' 'should' 'next time' so to cut a long story short...

I started well, was in 5th, held my place and blew a little on the last lap. Great course. Sam won, fair play he's rapid.

I love Thetford. I grew up riding there and it's always a sort of pilgrimage to my youth to ride there. You know you're riding well when you can ride the singletrack there in the big ring without braking.

And... my mum was there :)

Finally, thanks as always to all the Climb On team for their support and efforts (esp. Sophie for the bottling)...

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