Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Number Nine, the 2014 National Championships, Innerleithen....

Photo copyright of Kenny Muir

Tom's in the crib!

After Angie's World Enduro Series/Tweed Love trip it was my turn to hit up Innerleithen, this time for the 2014 National Championships, yep, the biggest domestic race of the year!

Headed up there on the Thursday night to get some proper practise in, many other riders had the same idea. Friday came and I had a thorough look at the course and then worked at getting my FTW's suspension dialled in, tyre wise I opted for my Michelin Wild Grip R's, as they seem to handle this type of mixed terrain really well with no compromises in the tight tree-lined technical sections.  Preparation over with, it was time to settle and wait for practise to start the next day.

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

The weather on Saturday took as turn for the worse, waking up to mist which then turned into rain and that was pretty much the story for the rest of the day and on into the night!  On the plus side it made the course nicely tacky and despite some highly polished roots making lines as sketchy as hell there was a fair bit of extra grip to be had under the greasy top sides. My trick was to stay light on the bike and keep the flow down the hillside. I had a few slips and slides earlier on but started to get lay of the track quite quickly, my confidence grew and the FTW was soon railing it.

Sunday came along and the track had dried up nicely, the sun was blazing and all things were right in the world!  My seeding was going so insanely fast up until the point where I caught the rider in front who wouldn't let me pass, I was screaming blue murder to make him move but he stayed in front of me and slowed me right down this dropped me to 13th place, I was gutted with that.  No time to rest on my laurels here though as I was soon back at the top ready for my race run. The plan was to just hit the whole course head on.  

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

Out of the gate and straight into the first tree lined technical section was great, the FTW was swallowing it all up. Across the two roads and into the tighter rutted sections I was a little cautious and made a couple of mistakes.  Coming into the bottom of the course I totally railed the singletrack and the following root fest, through the bombhole and down the sweeping turns towards the finish line.  I crossed the line in 9th place which I guess was good considering the mistakes I made up top, but I was gutted to not get the National Champion stripes.  Next time!

Overall it was a great weekend, Mike Marsden and his crew always pull a good event out of the hat, had a lot of laughs and got to ride the one of the best tracks in the country with my mates. 

Life's good on the road!

Healing vibes going out to my fellow team-mate Nick who had to reluctantly sit this year's event out 'cos of his wrist injury recovery, hurry up and get better we got trails to ride lad!


You can follow The Development on Facebook: The Development Facebook Page

No comments:

Post a Comment