Words by John Speed
The 1st Round of the Spring Gorrick series was at Crowthorne Woods, located next to Swinley Forest. I have been training over winter and using these events as a training guide until the main events start in March, as it’s important to get race experience!
I was racing in the ‘Open’ category, which was the last race of the day at 2.05pm. There were around 20 riders in this category; the format is basically to ride three laps as fast a possible.
The key is getting a really good start. Unfortunately, this was tough as it was on a hill, which always makes it hard to get going. Despite all the rain, the course held up well, although it was a bit boggy on some of the singletrack sections. There were some really nice swooping downhill sections, the corkscrew being a really fun part of the course. By the end of the 1st lap the whole field had split up, and I was riding on my own for the last 2 laps and trying to make sure no one could catch me! I averaged around 23-24 mins a lap, with the laps being around 3 to 4 miles long, which was ok. I was very pleased to find out that I had finished 9th, as the top 5 were doing 21-22 mins. Last year I came 25th out of 45 entrants.
Most of the entrants were on 29ers. I was racing on a 29er myself, last year, and you do notice the difference, but I am currently riding on a 26er, as I am waiting for my new bike to arrive!
The next round is on 2nd March. If anyone is looking at doing some events, then come along! The routes are single-track through woods and some fire roads, and are suitable for any ability!
Check out www.gorrick.com.
MB Swindon Xc Team