Sunday, 11 September 2011

Trailblazers 1-2-1 Race Series - Hamsterley Forest, 3rd and 4th September 2011

Oh gosh, I dunno where to start! This is the first time I have done a race like this!

The 121 Race Series is only in its second year running and consists of a cross-country race on the Saturday followed by a downhill race on the Sunday at Hamsterley Forest in County Durham. It attracts a mixed type of rider from the full on XC racer to the born and bred DH rider - there is one little catch though and that's riding both races using the same bike, oh yes! I decided to do the weekend on my Trek ‘Remedy’.

Saturday came and there were 11 girls altogether with six in my category. All the guys went off first followed by the girls in a mass start, I had absolutely no idea where I would be having never raced cross-country ever before.

I didn't want to go too hard at first as it was three laps of a 4.8 mile loop, kept things nice and steady as to not burn myself out which I think worked. I ended in 4th place behind close friends Helen Gaskell and Sarah Newman who took a joint win.

Sunday came and it was time for me to get stuck into the downhill, I did two practice runs and then the racing was underway from midday. The track was pretty much a pedal-fest, the overnight rain made for some nicely greasy roots, which I add in a rather sadistic way were great fun! :)

With my first race run I got a 2.55, knowing I could pedal harder especially with the track drying out. Second run came around and I knocked 7 seconds off getting a 2.48 coming 3rd in the DH again behind Helen and Sarah respectively. This put me overall 3rd, as the girl who took 3rd in the cross-country took 4th in the downhill and so they go with whoever was fastest in the DH, and erm, that would be me! :)

Angie's back on the steps. Photo courtesy of Gary McIntyre

It was a really good weekend, bloody hard going yet really fun, it’s a clever format for a weekend’s racing and indeed great training for Fort Billy next weekend. I've realised how fun it is riding a short travel bike on DH tracks too, maybe a hardtail next time?!

Big “Thank You” to both Vitamin Water and Red Bull which got nailed this weekend! Such thirsty work!

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