Posted in Cycle and tagged team wiggle
Images of James Braid racing in the Southern XC race series

A race close to home

After having missed a couple of rounds of the Southern XC - due to crushing one of the seat stays in my frame in the national round at Plymouth - I was all set to race the next round, just 20 minutes from home!

I’ll set my stall of excuses out early; after a few weeks of decorating, a wedding on the IoW Saturday night and waking up to a fair amount of drizzle, I was less than certain of how my performance would fair...

Following a short drive up to the venue near Bordon and rolling out onto the course for a practice all these fears soon washed away as a great fun and flowing course had been put together that even rolled really well in the damp conditions. Let’s go!

Although quite muddy the sandy trails were still quite grippy under the surface in the wet.

A long tarmac section means only one thing off the start line... A fast SPRINT!!!

And also a rapid place to hand up any water bottles!

Deep in contemplation

Chasing hard lap 2

One of the few really punchy short climbs that was dotted around the course

A good racing rhythm

The race went quite nicely as for once I got a really good start off the line. Chasing round in the top three for the first lap we had quite a big gap back to fourth and then the pace started to hit me. I eased back into my own rhythm and got ready for the grudge match against the chasing riders that was about to explode!

A rider caught, I passed back, a couple more got ahead – it was really to-and-fro for the rest of the race on every lap. So by the end of it I was pleased to come away with fifth place.

Next on the horizon is the June round of the BMBS in Glasgow – home of the 2014 Commonwealth Games MTB race. Time to top up the petrol tank and get on the way from Portsmouth!

See you on the trails