Adam Walton – Cat 4 Men
After the challenge of White Park yesterday it was great to be on a relatively fast and benign course. My goal was to stay upright and be patient and controlled for the first half race. This was my largest starting field with 97 riders registered (good preparation for the large field at Gloucester next week).
I arrived early and rode more than 3 laps of the course, mentally mapping out my lines and gear changes. I started well and gradually picked up places even though I wasn’t forcing the pace – my HR monitor showed I was below the effort ‘redline’. It was good to feel like a mid-pack racer rather than a tail-end struggler. After 3 laps I had a pinch flat on the one pair of roots on the course. In the deperate search for traction, I’ve been too aggresssive with tire pressures on my Mud 2 clinchers, running at around 32 psi front and rear. Speaking with 2 other NEBC riders, John McGrath and Lester Bethel, after the race they advised high 30s at least – or preferably get tubulars.
My first DNF but ironically also my best race yet, after taking a battering at White Park this was a genuine confidence builder.