A long, paved start gave my legs a chance to get into gear and I passed a few people as we headed offroad for the first of many muddy climbs. This was about as good as it got as most of them passed me again shortly afterwards! Stanny came past on the 2nd climb and stayed comfortably ahead for the rest of the race. It seems that running 30psi in your tyres really does give you more grip. Hmmm.
After the first lap I spent most of the race battling with number 196. He would pass me on the climbs and flat grassy bits, I would pass him on the fast descents and paved stuff. I was helped a bit by his gears playing up (chainsuck) but that's just poor maintenace so I wasn't going to wait for him while he sorted it out!
A couple of laps from the end I was passed by my nemesis from last weekend's race - Ian Small. I hadn't noticed him catching me. Bugger, now I had a real race on! We swapped positions on several occasions before I made a bid for freedom on the fast descent with the steps on. Brakes off and prayed for some sort of traction when I leant the bike over to take the corner at the bottom. It worked. Not only did I gap Ian I got away from number 196. Yay. Still a fair chunk of the lap left but I dug deep and powered home, possibly even passing 2 other riders for position in doing so. I crossed the line broken but happy.
Just one more race left this year and that means a trip to North Wales on the 20th. Very tempted to do it.
And the results are in! 63rd Richard Stansfield 69th Simon Barnes. Looks like I did grab a couple of extra places in the dash for the line :)