Adam Walton – Cat 4 Men
The White Park course is extremely varied with the full range of cross surfaces and challenges, including some killer climbs and a tough run-up. It forced me to confront 2 significant new skills 1) the steep off-camber corners defeated me, falling 4 times at 3 different corners, losing the chain twice and probably dropping around a minute and a half in total 2) the sand section was a blast and I got used to churning away whilst the bike slid around underneath me.
This was the first race for me where I got a reasonable start and was competitive (at my level of the pack) for at least 2 laps before the falls and lost time took their toll. I finished 21st out of 27 finishers so comparable position to first 2 races and still keen to see where I can get to if I can stay upright. The big positive for me on this race were that for the first time I wasn’t lapped and I also got some real experience of racing head-to-head with other guys for sustained periods. This pushed my average heart rate up to 93% of my maximum, a higher level than I’ve reached previously.
The lasting memory for me will be the suicidally steep downhill 180 turn around the tree – as I recall it now, it seems like a miracle that I got around 3 or 4 times and only came off twice. Hopefully I will grow some confidence for this type of feature.