Wednesday, 30 July 2008

National Mountain bike Champs 2008

Sorry for the lack of report after last weeks National Mountain bike champs. I managed to defend my title and get loads of publicity as usual for wearing compression socks in a Mountain bike race! See link below race didn't go quite as planned, I missed my pedal at the start and from being gridded first I went all the way back to about 30th place. It took me a lap to even get near to the front. I eventually attacked with 2 laps to go and crossed the line with a slim 20 second lead.My lap times would have placed me about 7th in the Elite National champs, but I think the Masters jersey looks good on me and gets more publicity than 7th in the Elite.

All sponsors equipment worked faultlessly. Sundog orange lenses worked great in the low light woodland sections. Racing Ralph tyres did the job again. I used my Cannondale Scalpel full suspension to win on this course, instead of the hardtail Taurine I used last year.

This weekend just gone, I helped guide a charity ride from London to Paris for the 'Big issue foundation'. This was great fun and 260 miles on a mountain bike with knobbly tyres in 3 days is good training!

I have got 3 weeks off until Xterra Austria and then Xterra Japan. Back to hard training now. Sam

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Xterra France

This weekend saw the 4th European Xterra round, set high up in the French Alpes in the ski resort of Auron.

After tactically missing the Czech race last weekend I knew I had to score some good points to get me back up the standings.

I suffered a bit with the altitude, especially at the swim which was at 1800m above sea level, where i lost 2.5 minutes, which is about a minute more than i should have done.

Again on the bike i lacked that little edge on some of the climbs, due to the altitude, but I was riding well technically and in my first race on my new full suspension Cannondale Scalpel I came off the bike in 4th place, in good company behind Current world champion Conrad Stoltz, ex world champion Nico Lebrun and ex pro mountain biker Jorg Sheiderbauer. The bike handled fantastic especially with the Schwalbe Racing ralph tyres and i'll be using it at the next round in Austria.

Onto the run and again i felt the altitude and the hard work i'd done on the bike and i lost 3 places to finish an exhausted 7th, but gaining essential series points. I am currently lying in 7th place in the European standings, but I can drop the Czech round which i didn't race where as some of the athletes ahead have to drop a result still.

My next goal is retaining my Masters title at the national Mountain bike champs in 2 weeks time. I'll be having a week off hard running this week in preperation for this.