First Race

Well, my first 'proper' race of the year has been completed. Unfortunately not on the new bike as the people in the customs department at Coventry have been far from helpful, long story. Anyway, the faithful old Saracen was again wheeled out for a hammering and given some fancy new bits.
The first person I found when I arrived was the other Andrew, he was ready to go but waiting patiently while I got dressed and then we headed out for a practice lap. I knew he would be a bit quicker than me, but it was interesting trying to keep up with him just on that lap.
The course itself was excellent. Cannock obviously isn't renowned for it's big hills or technical trails but despite the limitations of the topography the team had done themselves proud and given us a really good course. It was flat out all the way, so although everything looked easy it meant that if one's concentration wavered one would have a huge accident as the speeds were so high.
The start was first come first served and so by being one of the last to arrive at the line and approaching from the front I got a front row grid spot. :-) However, I bogged down a bit off the line as I was slightly to the side of the fireroad in the longer grass, but I was clinging onto the back of the pack as we headed down the fireroad and through the arena for the first time and out onto the course proper.
Races always seem to be a bit of a blur, I'll put it down to concentrating so hard! However, it does mean that I tend to have very little to say about it afterwards. I do recall that I only made one error, just cresting the top of short, sharp climb my front wheel washed out. I saved myself from falling and ran to the top, didn't cost me too much time. All in all I had a fairly lonely race, I didn't see much of the other Elite riders but managed to pick off a couple of them and got myself up to 10th by the end. Mr Corbyn did come passed at some stage on the fourth lap, which gave me a bit of a hurry up. He seemed to be having a good race, something in his winter training has paid off. I couldn't quite stick with him but every time I rounded a corner I could just see him going round the next one. I got him back near the end of the fifth lap when his tyre blew up though. The support at the race was great, there were people everywhere cheering us on, not just in the arena, and that really helps.
I’m fairly happy with the result for a first race of the year. I was still going well at the end so my stamina is fine and my back injury from last season caused very few problems, just a tight feeling on around the third lap which only lasted 15 minutes or so. Just got to work on my speed now. Hopefully some of that will be provided by the new bike, which should be built and ready to go for the BMBS race at Dalby
I would like to say a big thank-you to the guys and girls in the pits feeding us, excellent as always.

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