Petr si dal tradičníThe final round of the Autumn series (and my final race of 2016) was using the Whites Level trails from the Glyncorreg centre at Afan. Charlie Williams had laid on probably the longest and hardest pedalling stages of the year to literally finish us all off! Glyncorrwg is notorious for sharp, square edged rocks so I ran a Maxxis 3C DHF up front and a Maxxis Aggressor Double Down rear for fast rolling, sure footed, gnarly trail centre grip.
Trying to use a little bit of common sense and wisdom, I decided to do stage 3 first as it was the longest of the day while my legs were fresh (6mins approx.) but with only 20yrds into the stage my rear mech decided to eat itself and take out the mech hanger and chain as well! This meant a coast back down to the trail centre for a quick overhaul and a loan of a rear mech (cheers Jess Gough ;-), so much for the fresh leg wisdom!
Having repaired my bike (to a fashion) which had taken up the morning, I only had enough time left to be able to get one run in of each stage so had to make each run count.
Stage One – Black Run
With the start straight after the board walk, it was on the gas and away with a short sprint until things pointed downwards, this stage was all about timing the pumps and small doubles, getting through the deadly wheel breaking bolder garden and avoiding the tyre ripping sharp rocks protruding from the high berm wall! Got through safe with a 1:30.34 and 4th fastest.
Stage Two – Windy Point
Possibly the most physically demanding stage of the day with three slight uphill pedal fest’s, over stream bridges and made even harder with hidden rocks ready to catch the unaware with multiple pedal strikes!
I also had to contend with a bit of ghost shifting whilst on the pedals but once around the top left hand switchback, it was flat out rollercoaster ride and slab rock jumps to the fire road finish! 3:41.04 and 5th fastest.
Stage Three – Peregyne Ridge/The Rock/Happy Life/Blade
At an estimated 6 mins, it was important for me not to go 100% of the start! So I went off at about 85% and building into the longest single track pedalling sections of the series, I managed to maintain a decent speed and hitting the short cut lines on some of the more open taped turns that a lot of riders missed. After the Rock steps it tightened right and i just about hanged on without going over the edge! (many went off there!) then into the narrow downhill single track of Happy Life before a very loose near dead stop right hander onto the rock drops turns and slab rock jumps of Blade to finish near the Cycle path. Managed a 5:37.81 and 5th fastest.
I couldn’t help feeling slightly unhappy that my first run mechanical robbed me from being able to improve on any of my times, as I still felt fresh enough for some more runs but was out of time! Still, I was content with finishing 5th place for the race and even more happy with my overall position for the series!...... 3rd overall!!...... and a podium to end the year!!!....Get in there ;-))
Season Result Summary – Vets Class
Cannondale British Enduro Series …………… = 6th overall (Target = top 10)
Welsh Gravity Enduro Series (summer)……. = 5th overall (Target = top 5)
Welsh Gravity Enduro Series (Autumn)……. = 3rd overall (Target = top 5)
With thanks to our sponsors