Well, this started with me signing up as part of a normal race series, until I saw this tweet saying that there was a Singlespeed/Fatbike Championship as well as the normal races… This resulted in me rebuilding my singlespeed (which I recently dissembled and put gears on) and getting ready to race!
The course was awesome! It started with a very steep and not-quite-short climb into some doubletrack before heading into great singletrack. This continued through some dry twisty woodland, a couple of short up and downs until we hit the bermy built up section. This had obviously been fairly freshly built as it hadn’t quite bedded in yet. Despite this it ran pretty well into a small jump that kicked out into the fireroad. This led downwards to the second built up section that had a little log obstacle and a loose climb. Again out into fireroad before descending down to the Somme. The only really wet muddy section of the race. This whipped back and forth before we climbed back into the arena. A good little course, and one that would be very entertaining to race on.
Just before the race kicked off I scoped out the opposition – all two of them. Oh. Never mind, we would be setting off with the Open race and I’d have the chance to see how I fared against them if the two competitors weren’t quite as quick as me. I went like the proverbial poo on a gardening implement from the whistle and quickly was in second place of the Open race as we sprinted up the road start to the race. It didn’t take long before I was leading the Open, and shortly after that the leader dropped off my wheel. I rode strongly, really enjoying the race and before the end of the first lap had caught and passed both Nathan and Oli racing in the Sport category.
I had three laps to complete, thankfully running a slightly lower gear than I might have – mainly due to being caught out at the Cannock Winter Classic. Melissa (my new coach) had tried to encourage me to spin a higher cadence, and running a 34/18 allowed me to do this without feeling like I was grinding up the climbs, nor spinning out too much on the fireroads.
Finishing in much the same way as I started, I took a convincing win, marred only by dropping a bottle on Lap 2 at the changeover. However, a strong result, and after the finish I took home the title of Regional Singlespeed Champion. Go me!
Below is the video from XTrail films of the race, Strava file is here.