Lets cut to the chase: It didn’t go well. No mechanicals or anything like that, I just wasn’t ‘on it’ right from the whistle.
The course looked suitably ‘As Tough As’, with much of the ‘in and out of the trees’ singletrack sections reduced to a slippery run and the off camber sections also quicker on foot. Sadly, due to all the oldies taking so long over their races, us seniors had to miss out a few sections of the course because it as getting dark, not so sadly, those sections were mostly the running bits. With ground conditions deteriorating as the day went on, the shortened lap seemed to work OK.
From the instant we set off, I saw the front group open up a gap that I was on the wrong side of and by the time I passed the pits (where info was constantly shouted to me) I was only just in the top 30. As the laps passed the gap just grew, I picked off a few riders as they slowed but I could tell I wasn’t riding well (hello to all the hecklers on the off camber sections!), to be honest I was almost delighted when the eventual winner caught and lapped me just as I approached the line. Partly because I didn’t have to go round again and partly because I could sneak into the pictures being taken
Never mind. Hopefully the Carlisle race will still be on in a couple of weeks and things go better there!