This year I was going to give it the same tactics, but today something came over me that got me psyched to lay it down to some big hitters. I was gridded 16th, a massive help at Sherwood. Soon dropped back to about 20th, but then on the first fireroad climb (up from the X roads near the cafe) I got back up to the front. The bunch was splitting with the pace being set by Beckinsale (I hope he needs no introduction), Jody Crawforth, the Worlds top finishing Amatuer CX rider at the worlds recently, and Dave Fletcher, Worlds Bronze medalist and Sherwood local. I was in the second group between 8-13th position. After a lap Adam, Deborah, Catherine, Amanda, Robbo, my dad, and the KTM circus were giving me big support. I thought I'd go across to the front group.

Racing at Sherwood Pines

So there I was in 8th place in a UCI 2 race. 2 guys came with, including Robin Seymour (ranked 3 in UK). He came through and I stuck with him through the tight and energy sapping singletrack. On the fireroad though he jumped me and I was 10th, about 15s off the world class top 9. I got close through the singletrack using my home knowledge to ride it fast, but then kept getting dropped by the surges on the fireroad. I was dangling in there in 10th. 5 laps of 7 down and I started to I thought oh bother, there're still 40 minutes to go. I hung in until lap 6, dropped a bottle and had started losing my co-ordination and balance, making the singletrack all the more tiring. Half way around lap 6 Billy Joe-Whenman, Dan Booth and Ross Adams went past me like I was stood still. I crawled in to a disappointed 13th place. I was sure at one point I was going to get a top 10. Oh well. 13th is a PB. It was just so close. I was glad to see Dan Booth beating Billy (The full time pro) in the sprint for 10th, nice one Dan (no offence Billy, but Dan's a mate).

It ended up Jody Crawforth 1st, Dave Fletcher 2nd and Beckinsale 3rd. I was 3 mins 50 down at the end. Beckinsale just finished 22nd at the 1st world cup in South Africa, so I'm pretty pleased with the ride if I'm honest.

If anyone fancies testing their speed against Fletch, he does a few of the Sherwood Pines TT's, they start soon.

The KTM was a pleasure to ride. My back didn't hurt, I didn't seem to lose any power and I was going fast through the singletrack, as fast as the worlds best!! Or maybe it was just me.

The war horse

And well done to my team mate Matt Barrett who won the sprint for the Masters race with ease. KTM's maiden win. Who says full sussers can't sprint!
Matt wins