Presentation on theme: "As the rain lashed down on the van the thought of warming up seemed quite a daunting task, but shortly after it was blue skies and relatively warm, got."— Presentation transcript:
As the rain lashed down on the van the thought of warming up seemed quite a daunting task, but shortly after it was blue skies and relatively warm, got to love Scotland’s climate. Round 3 of the Scottish XC series had brought me to the sunny (if a bit wet) landscape of Perthshire or to be more precise Comrie Croft. With no knowledge of what the course was like and mixed reports from my friends I found myself racing a course blind and at the back of the field at the start. The weather was taking a turn for the worst again and with the nerves building up inside me I just wanted to start. Before I knew it the whistle had gone and it was an elbows out job to try and gain up as many places as I could before I reached the first bit of single track. It seems like such a small thing but a front row gridding place and fast start can really benefit your race as I soon found myself trying to chase down the people in front of me. I was still in sight of the start and had 3 laps ahead of me but the urge to just smash it was all that was on my mind and after a short sprint to gain a place I found my legs were getting tired and it was only 2 km in. I kept passing people on the climbs as they are one of my stronger points in a race and a water splash towards the top of the hill was a refreshing cool down before the downhill. I was quite lucky when it came to the first decent that I had someone I knew behind me who was telling me where to go. Even with people crashing round me I amazed myself when I got the bottom of the hill that I hadn’t crashed or had a mechanical. With a smile on my face I looked up and the smile faded as I realised the length of the hill that was in front of me. The sun was back out which made the climb even harder because it was hot. But before I knew it a cold splash of water resulted in my feet being wet again and the top of the hill in sight. Trying to remember what the downhill was like was one thing trying to ride it smoothly was something completely different. A squeaky brake made sure that everyone knew where I was and it worked as a good horn when it came to passing riders. I saw my friend just in front of me finishing as a youth and I knew that I had another lap to go and because I knew it was the last time I would go up this hill I think it made it go quicker until disaster struck. There was a little downhill which lead into a small bridge crossing and just as my front wheel touched the wooden bridge I went straight off the back of the bike. I was undamaged but as I went to pick my bike up from the ditch I found my seat pointing upwards, not a good thing to have if you have a 15-minute climb ahead of you. I soon found the right tool to fix it but by the time I had got back on the bike the person I had been with had made a gap and this was going to be a chasing game. I knew that climbing was where I was the better rider but I didn’t want to use up so much energy that when it came to the downhill I would be falling all over the place; tactics were going to be important here. The whole lap I chased to catch this girl and when I reached the fire road to the finish I could see her but would I catch her? I was unsuccessful this time but after congratulating the other girl we came to a mutual agreement to buy a tandem and race the next one together. Even though I finished 1 st and last in my category I hadn’t had a good few races before this one and to get on the bike and finish a race where I was still smiling but had no energy left in me was a great achievement. Scottish XC Series round 3, Comri Croft, Perthshire Report by Hannah Ferguson - Junior
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