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Tarouca, Portugal Cup #1

25 February 2018

Jack takes you on a timed practice run down the Tarouca race track....

We were excited to start our 2018 race season in Portugal this weekend after a long winter in the cold, wet British weather!  Jack and Myles travelled to Tarouca for the first round of the Portugal National Series and were feeling strong and ready to race.
The guys who have worked on the track have done a fantastic job, all credit to the local volunteers.  We’ve discovered it’s a great venue to get out of the mud at home and do some pre-season dry, fast, riding and testing.  We were made to feel very welcome as well.  The race track at Tarouca is super fast with some interesting features, so it was going to be a good challenge to kick the season off. It would also be a great opportunity for us to work on bike setup ahead of the world cup season. Practice went really well and the lads loved the track! Hope you enjoy the helmet camera run of Jack on his fastest timed practice run.
In seeding Jack was last down being the highest UCI ranked rider in attendance so was feeling the pressure! Unfortunately Myles snapped his gear cable but still managed a solid 18th place in his seeding run. Jack kept a cool head despite the nerves and rode to 1st place in seeding with a 2min 49sec. Second and third place were both within 15 hundreths of a second of Jack, so it was clearly going to be a super exciting race and very close!

Photo: thanks to Jose Adrega!

Unfortunately Myles had another mechanical with his gears in his race run because he didn’t fit his new gear cable properly, highlighting the urgent need for him to work on his mechanic skills! He still finished a respectable 20th, even though he was stuck in hardest gear for the entire run!
Jack had a great race run going 3 seconds faster than his seeding time with a 2.46 but this was only good enough for 2nd place in finals. A great start to the season for Jack and a reminder that to win races at this level, you have to give the run absolutely everything and ride totally fearless, otherwise time is left on the hill and someone will beat you!
We were thinking of coming back to Portugal for the European Champs race at Lousa, but the race schedule, published by the UCI, is rather short on track time so we think it’s not really worth all the effort and expense.  We are though, very impressed with the setup at Tarouca, and will be back next year for some early season work.