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Sunday 26th Feb saw the traditional season opener for the team, The Gorrick spring series round 1 in Swinley Forest Bracknell in Surrey. Technically it was round 2 but the scheduled previous round had been cancelled due to snow and ice, a scenario not often seen in cycle racing! The day dawned sunny but cool this time .The event is a good opportunity to test the legs and see if all the hard work through the winter has paid off, or what else needs to be done to step it up ready for the bigger races to follow.
The team was somewhat depleted for this event with Mark Chadbourne away competing in a moto cross enduro event, and Ro and Carol Tilley away at a training camp in The Canary Islands. The racing was left to Jon, Stuart and Steve .Jon and Steve would compete in the super veteran catagory while Stu would line up in the super masters race as defined by age. The "super "tag means that racing is a lap longer and somewhat tougher than the standard masters and vets classes and is used by the keen racers to really push themselves early in the season.
The Gorrick team always put on a great race and the course this weekend was no exception, lots of tight twisty single track with the obligatory bomb holes and a couple of short sharp climbs to add to the pain being set within a heavily forested area means trees and therefore tree roots, a love them or hate them feature for the mountain bike racer as they can catch you napping and take your wheels from under you in a split second sending you to the ground in an undignified fashion. The majority of riders favourite section of the course was without a doubt the descent from the highest point on the course which was a series of twisting berms which encouraged you to stay off the brakes and use the walled corners of the turns to propel you towards the bottom ever faster with each lap.
The racing was fast and furious and as ever fiercely contested. All the usual suspects lined up for the start of our races, with national champions present this was going to be no easy start to the race calendar!
Both races got away cleanly and the usual jostling for a good position towards the front ensued, it’s vital to get a good start in Mountain bike racing as once the race enters the tight single track sections over taking opportunities are limited. Once into a rhythm the key is to settle in and for some limit your loses or for others play the strategic game of cat and mouse with your nearest rivals. The usual tussles ensued and old rivalries were revisited but in the end the races played out as follows:
Jon 8th super veterans
Steve 17th super veterans
Stu 11th super masters
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