Sherwood is one of those venues which divides opinion over whether it is a proper mountain bike course or not but I love the place as it's a real leg breaker. It suits me as a bigger rider who likes using the big ring all the time. This years course was no different with lots of tight and twisty singletrack snaking through the woods and a few steep little climbs to kill yours legs off so yes it was going to be one hell of a hard day in the saddle.
Being a master we were left till 2.30 to start our 4 laps of pain and lining up on the start you could see alot of tans and guys looking very keen to get going (I started to wonder if maybe I should pull out of this race and train a bit more!) Unfortunately it was too late for that as the starter gun went off and we started the mad charge to the first singletrack. I do find it funny when other racers try to elbow me out of the way, but come the first pinch point on the course I managed to hold my position in the top 25.
The first few kilometres just flew by and I was fighting for position and trying to get settled into the race. I found some strong riders to pace myself against as we moved into the second lap and was looking to move up the field but I found a little cheat line around the drop off which saved me a few seconds every lap and helped get me away from the guys I was racing against and the race really started to get interesting. I moved into the last lap and the speed picked as I tried to chase down Darren Alexander and James Gleeve who were a minute up the road and seemingly starting to tire. Coming to the half way point of the course I caught sight of the guys i had been chasing and tried to dig that little deeper to close the gap, but I started to feel the pressure and as I got closer I just couldn't make up the gap and had to settle for the position I was in.
At the end of the day I gave everything had no regrets come the finish line so a couple weeks hard training and some decent recovery before the next race. Want to say thank you to Chloe and the rest of the team for there support, you all rock.