Adventures of the Cotic - A Quick Release holidays mountain bike race team

Monday, 3 August 2009

Midlands XC Round 3 (Cannock Chase) - more AQR podiums!

Cannock Chase was the venue for Round 3 of the 2009 Midlands series yesterday and despite recent biblical weather turned out to be a great event, albeit a tough one!

Shortened to just 5.5km this year, we were all sceptical about the course but a practice lap soon showed why the decision had been taken - whilst the fireroad climbs were fine, some of the flatter woodsy singletrack sections resembled sticky bogs... this was going to be partly a running race too!

Claire and Paul Aubrey are our newly recruited Aussie contigents of the AQR team and had taken time out of their hectic European travelling schedule to come & try a UK race. Claire, racing Sport, and Kirsty, in Masters, were off first in the morning race, along with AQR guest and friend Rachel.

Rachel, Claire & Kirsty

The girls looked strong during their races with plenty of cheering from Paul and I while we waited for our afternoon race... with Claire even going on to do an optional 3rd lap to prove that she would have been 2nd in the Expert race (alas her Australian license had run out)! Fantastic results for both of them though with 1st place each and well done to Rachel too for her 2nd in Sport.



No sooner had podiums finished than it was time for the afternoon race and Paul and I lined ourselves up for 4 really challenging laps, especially as the course was drying and the mud getting even stickier! As the hooter went off I found myself 3rd up the first climb and wondered how long I could stay this far forward... would my recent 'Luchon legs' keep their strength? Forcing my lungs back down at the top of the steep fireroad we dived into the first singletrack and the pace started to settle. The short course length meant it took me at least a lap to warm up and I have to admit it was a pretty hellish first lap - learning lines, which bits to run (too many!) and where to pass (I was loving that long fireroad climb!). Before I knew it, lap 4 came round and I found the energy to keep pushing, past two riders ahead of me and into 5th place. I spent the rest of the lap checking over my shoulder but I needn't have worried and crossed the line well ahead of 6th. Not too long later Paul crossed the line in 17th place, very respectable considering his lack of racing for several months and the chunky full-sus he was riding!

All in all a great day for AQR and once again big thanks to James & Nadine for another quality Midlands XC race. Also cheers to the rest of the AQR team for the mutual support and feed-zone work.



Thanks also to Joolze Dymond for use of and links to her photos.

1 comment: