Rampage XC Race 19/06/2011


As I had to head back up to uni to pick up my masses of kit, it seemed like a good opportunity to find an XC race to do as a bit of practice for the Island Games which is less than a week away now. The Rampage XC event in Checkendon seemed to fit the bill and would serve as a useful bit of practice for starts etc..

I certainly learnt a lot, put it that way. My start wasn't great and there is little time to jostle for position before you are into a long section of single track with little opportunity to overtake. Unfortunately my poor start landed me in a rather slow group heading into the single track and I couldn't break out of it until about halfway round the course. By that time the front group had really broken away out of sight and I was left riding the majority of the course solo between the two packs - not the best situation for pacing or challenging yourself.

The course itself was interesting - masses of very technical single track and not a hill in sight. That in itself didn't really suit my riding style. Having had 10weeks of not riding a mountain bike my single-track skills were a little rusty to say the least, and without a big climb to push myself on, I found I couldn't really go flat out and still had juice to burn at the end of the race.

Having said all that, it was great fun and a well organised event. It served its purpose of testing out the bike and understanding starts very well: basically get to the front f**king quick and stay there until you hit the single-track.

Luckily the Island Games course is quite open for the first section so there is plenty of opportunity to spread the field out before we hit the single track; which hopefully will play to my advantage. I'm on the training taper down to the event now and feeling reasonably good about getting a respectable result. The course is "bedding-in" nicely and I've been able to get out there to ride it a number of times. Another blog post soon as we get closer to the event....

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