A pre-ride of the course revealed very muddy conditions with approximately 40/50% of the course being suited to mud tyres and 50/60% suited to an intermediate. Both RAF riders opted for the full mud option, feeling that over the course of the race the ability to ride the whole course consistently would pay off. As a both had pretty poor starts due in part to the slower tyres and in part to a congested technical start to the course.
Martin Pearson was in 14th at the end of the 1st lap at the back of a group of 4 riders, staying with this group he put in a hard attack on the 3rd lap prior to a muddy section which gained him about a minute. Despite paying for this effort the gap was made and he hung on to claim 10th place. Lap times 19.40, 20.26, 20.57, 22.05, 22.28
As a new convert to XC racing Russ is still finding his feet in particular with the speed required to be near the front on the opening lap. With this being his first race on his new Whyte 29-C it was always going to be a learning experience. However his strong endurance base and sensible tyre choice saw him also work his way back through the field from 21st at the end of lap 1 to claim a very respectable 11th place only 40s off 10th. Lap times 23.19, 22.09, 22.06, 22.19.
Another good weekend for the RAF CA MTB Team.
The first round of the National Series is next weekend is at Sherwood Pines and we have 5/6 riders in action, so if your in the area come along on Sunday and lend your support.
10th Martin Pearson
11th Russell Holman