Friday, 10 July 2015

UK Gravity Enduro Series, Grizedale, 27th - 28th June 2015

Grizedale, it is always with great excitement that I approach any kind of race in the Lake District, the scenery there is nothing less than sensational.

I spent nearly seven hours practicing on the Saturday including my seeding run, most of the riding this weekend was across terrain which had been cut in much earlier in the year. The UKGE guys work tirelessly on these races and they deserve real credit for the great effort creating such challenging stages.

Stage five was the seeding run which led down into the finish arena, it started off with a fast pedal over some freshly cut ground which was a gutsy all out push for the first thirty seconds. From there it progressed rapidly across increasingly technical terrain which included a cool drop into a tight right hander the exit speed of which got you straight up and over a long rooted section.  With no time to rest on your laurels you hit some tight twisting tree-lined turns which then spit you out into a full on pedal towards the finish arena. My seeding run went really well, I came down clean and crossed the line with a huge grin on my face. Awesome!

The sun was doing its best to bake everyone in their full face helmets however this was compensated by the scenery on the climb up from Coniston Water which was magnificent. I was with my good friend Gemma Ingall on the practice loop, riding with someone whilst checking out the stages made it all very sociable.

Race day:
Rain was predicted on Sunday for most of the morning; which was soon proved to be correct when it came down in abundance! This made an already challenging course extra difficult where not only were the stages unpredictable, the climbs were more mentally challenging.

Stage one started with a small drop followed by some tight twists across nice slippery roots where I kept as loose as possible on the bike and was certainly being aided by my Michelin encased Sun-Ringle 27.5" wheels. The fast middle section over some drops saw me miss a line and I wasted time struggling to get back onto the track. The stage concluded with a very slippery rock garden which I thankfully managed to glide over to the finish line, I was relieved to have completed the first stage!

Onwards and upwards, quite literally, to stage two. It was here where I was settling into the race having looked forward to this stage's mud, roots and fire road sprints. I really enjoyed it and had some fun on my Orange Five which was flying with aplomb, despite a little wipe out further down, ahem!

Stage three was rocky with the longest of fire road sprints where I stayed strong and finished well. Stage four saw me take a wrong line at the start and headed into the course tape, which was rather clever, I know! After unpicking myself I got the cadence back down to get some time back. For the last and indeed long transition I employed the ‘This Girl Can’ philosophy keeping a positive frame of mind and started to pedal up to stage five, by this time I had been out on the bike for three hours! Yes, this is one hell of a great bike event and it was here where I was blessed with a vista across Coniston Water, breath taking. 

Arriving safely at the top of the stage with a couple of minutes to spare the rain began to ease off.  I went out on a hard 'all or nothing' push from the start however my fatigue was showing with a couple of silly lines in the loose rocky sections at the bottom.  With that said I crossed the finish line in eighth place completely exhausted but happy.


No comments:

Post a Comment