I thought of it in 3 sections. 1st was a fast trail centre descent with a couple of short sharp climbs, in a small loop back into the finish arena.


Then came the "tech bit". A few blind rock slabs to ride in more trail centre stuff, then the "10 foot" drop - which was actually not even big enough to catch your chainrings on, but you landed in a steep chute about 10 foot high - no problem if you ever braved Mansfield Nob! A rocky gully - I was more scared about punctures than crashing. Then a beasty little climb which was just OK in middle ring, but hurt by lap 5 then another tech little descent with some steps and a few lines.


The 3rd section of the course was a brutal climb for ages then a bit more less brutal up, and a finish in the 4X track. What a brilliant course!

Railing a corner

I was gridded 15th, and got 16th! Oh well, not too bad. A couple of Aussies came and got in the mix. I aint a climber but managed to hold my own. Felt like I rode a smooth and composed race on the descents so got to the climbs pretty fresh. Nothing like sherwood which was relentless. This was just like an interval session on Winnats pass. A different kind of pain. So thats a 13th and a 16th so far in the NPS. Will I ever manage that top 10?

Glad to see XC racing requiring a bit of MTB skill. As long as I keep riding Wharncliffe, the tennis court run  and Gorillas in the Mist I think I'll cope with most courses.

By the way Steve Peat won his 16th World Cup today, equalling Vouilloz record. Go on you beauty. See some wicked footage at Dirtmag and freecaster.tv

I'll try and get some race photos up. Oh and Beckinsale won the XC on a single 38 tooth ring with a chain device and a massive cassette for all you boring tech heads -  mmmm interesting.