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North West Race Series Round 1 @ Farmer John’s - 31 March 2013

The North West Race Series Round 1 at Farmer John’s last weekend was a nice little filler event for me. It was a 1 day push up event taking place on the Sunday, but a nice chance to support the local scene and ride with some friends.

I raced my Trek Slash instead of my Session as the top half of the track is very flat favouring the smaller travel bike. The bottom woods are more technical but still very rideable on the endure bike and also a fun challenge. I could also ride my endure bike to the top instead of having to push the big bike like everyone else.

The morning practice session was tough as the cold weather overnight had left the ground very hard and slippery. This was made worse by the layer of slick mud lying on top of it. There were a couple of corners which if you weren’t careful you would end up facing the wrong way in! I was enjoying the track and looking forward to some racing.

I’ve won the races at John’s in the past by quite comfortable margins. I knew today was going to be far more challenging due to the presence of world cup top 10 rider Josh Bryceland. I was excited to line up against him though and see how close I could get to his time, especially as he was on his V10 race bike and I was only on my endure bike.

I didn’t have a very good first race run, not pedaling hard enough at the top and then making a big mistake at the bottom and going off the track. Consequently I was 9 seconds back from Josh and last in the elite category, however it was made up of only 4 riders. Something needed to be done about that!!

I took the second run much more seriously and prepared a lot better. Getting your race head in gear is so important, especially at these little events where you can get carried away with the fun of it all and forget about the job at hand. The run came together really well and I went 8 seconds quicker which put me on a 1.20 only a second behind Josh’s first time. On my endure bike I was really happy with this as I waited for the other elites to come down on their second runs. Josh went faster with a 1.17, but being only 3 seconds behind him is something I’m really happy with. I was 4 seconds ahead of the other elites and finished in 2nd place.

Another good weekend and more positive learning experiences moving forwards! The next event is next weekend and is the first round of the British Downhill Series that I’m really excited for! The season is now getting into full swing.

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