Continental racing.

Sammy managed to convince me that it would be a great idea to spend the night at his parents house on Friday night, so that we could take on the first in a series of MTB races happening around the county.

We met up in town after work, bought some food and headed to his parents place. Spent the evening being bombarded by his four youngest siblings, quite a different vibe to the vineyard on a Friday night. It was great fun and we even made pancakes at 10 o’clock in the evening, what’s not to like about that?

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We arrived the next morning with just enough time to ride a lap of the 8km course, but sadly ended up 2 or 3 rows back as we lined up for the start. This meant that the first lap was pretty chaotic, unable to pass many people until the more open sections on the back end of the course. Found some clear air and a guy to work with on the second and third laps, hoping not to blow up and not to be overtaken by anyone.

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Sammy had some mechanical issues with his saddle so I didn’t see much of him, but he definitely picks up some style points…

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We waited around for an hour or so afterwards hoping to hear the results, but in the end we heard they would be posted online. So we headed off, but we arrived back to a phone call saying I’d taken second place in our age category. Great surprise! So we had to nip back across town to pick up the prizes. Sadly I’d missed the official podium call, so we had to improvise a bit…

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All that was left to do was the 35km back to Siria with heavy rucksacks and into a tasty headwind, luckily our spirits were still high and we made it back tired but in one piece.

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