My lift time was 9:10 – for a 10am start of the race. I was feeling pretty raced out from the qualifier, but the day was sunny and warm, so I got on with it.
I needed to fit a new brake lever, and whilst doing that I heard a strange noise from the rear wheel. Checking it out, it seemed that a spoke nipple had come loose, and these being EX823 UST rims, they have a little cup that the spoke nipple is glued (?) into. The noise seemed to be something rattling around in the rim. Anyhow, too late to fix it now, I reckon these rims are burly enough to survive a run with a missing spoke. Where I am going to get this fixed over here is another issue…..Up to the top at 3000m, I spotted Joe and Fergus and wished them well.
The start was delayed until 10:15am, then we were off! More bodies around than the qualify yesterday, so more queues at some points – most frustrating – however, given half a chance I was racing big style, again passing on the fireroad with the big drop. Over the little snow field and into the grassy\rocky section and other than hold ups due to numbers I was rocking! Into the bike park, over the 2 sets of small doubles (the number of riders I saw case these in race 2 is unbelievable) – then into the nice singletrack section, then the rocky footpath. I was running on empty by now, however rode the rocky bit better than yesterday – pretty much fell down the off camber chute and to the finish. Time was around 28mins, enough for 73rd place (out of around 110)
I really like the length of these races, although you are knackered at the end, its more bearable and slightly less enduro than the mega.
Fergus was rocking again, getting 3rd place in about 18 minutes. Amazing riding. Also Joe was 5th, and another UK rider Paul Aston in 7th. UK dominating.
MAXI – Race 2
I had pretty much decided that I would only do the first race the night before. To be quite honest – I have had enough of racing – I just want to bum around on my bike for a bit – no pressure. So my last race of the season was the MAXI Race 1.
However, Fergus pinned 3rd place again, Joe came 11th and Paul in 8th.
In the end, my 73rd place in the first race meant 102nd overall (out of 109) – I’ll take that – I am in one piece, my general tiredness was threatening a big crash. Also I am 190th in the Coupe D’Europe, out of 224 - 6th UK rider, result!
Will I be back? Well the next round of the Maxi starts at 4000m, just below the Matterhorn, nice altitude and would be my highest race, so very tempting. So next year – it may be the Maxi series for me (probably also Mountain of Hell) - heck I might be arsed to do both races :)
Heres what my legs look like after 3 racing weekends….(as if your interested....)
A big rock, a wallride, and a bit of the MAxi course in Val Thorens today
Now bring on chillin' on the bike and generally having fun riding fast and doing stunts for the next 5 weeks! Really looking forward to a week in Morzine with Tom and Jenny starting 7th August - might well go up early and hook up with Mike for some secret swiss trail action...