|Get-up-there climb. Photo - Jasen Raymond|
Loosing positions on the climb, it was the single-track and descents where I was able to get back in touch with our little pack. Touching wheels, hoots and whoops, tackling the tight and twisty sections. From here I backed off the pace a little, after all we hadn’t done half a lap yet and had to complete five.
Falling off the back the next challenge was to keep clear of the B Graders, usually released between 30 seconds to a minute after A Grade. Some of them have been sand-bagging in B Grade for a while now, you know who you are. So I was able to hold them off for a couple of laps, which is a good start.
The mid race calamity happened when I was making the most behind a swift legged B Grader. A mistake was made and there became an instant pile of carbon, steel and rubber. The other rider found himself at the bottom of the pile, thankfully no harm done.
|This is what it is all about, the berms and descents. Photo - Aubry Hill|
Shaking off the incident, the highlight of lap four was the rest of pointy end of B Grade caught up. We had a laugh afterwards but there was a sprint for the line, of which I didn’t contest, after all I still had another lap to go. Nothing wrong with being competitive in B Grade.
Lap five and I finally made some time back to my A Grade rivals, well one at least. On the technical climb out of Max’s Bridge we both fumbled (4 out of 5 isn’t bad) and from here on I was now in the running for a top three. I didn’t put to much pressure on making a gap between us over the remainder of the trail but by the time we arrived at the switchbacks before the finish, I could see I had a sufficient gap.
|A view over the rear tyre as I rail the bike through a berm. Photo - CrummyMTB|
Thanks to the WSMTB Club volunteers both on race day and trail maintenance days for their efforts, I believe everybody had a blast. My A Grade ribbon went to a prime position in the pool room.
Thanks also to DIY MTB for their guidance, the X-Fusion Slide 9er fork is working great with the adjustments made. My custom wide rim wheels bring real spark to the acceleration and handling of the bike, thanks Mick.