I have had a very busy month with a few big events and also the preparations for probably my biggest event of the year and in fact the biggest trial of the year.
The first event of the month was the second BTC round which was up in the Lake District. Not always known for its nice weather it certainly wasn’t a surprise to have a day of heavy rain and wet muddy sections. This made it a very hard day all round for organisers, observers and also the riders. It was a tough day but the same for all the riders with a lot of mistakes and also possible to pull the marks back though which was good.
It was a challenging day for me, I struggled to get in a good rhythm all day but I managed to pull out some good rides but also made some very silly mistakes that disappointed me. Fortunately for me a lot of other people were in the same situation which meant although I wasn’t that pleased with my riding I was able to take second place at the end of the day which was very positive for the championship.
Following the very wet weekend in the Lakes my focus turned to the SSDT. I stayed up north and had a day riding in some rocky streams to try and get used to the different style of riding. Over the next couple of weeks I got out a couple more times to get the help me feel better on the bike ahead of the long week in Scotland.
On arriving in the Highlands we were greeted with clear skies and sunshine and although a lot of people didn’t believe it, we were forecast a full week of sun and it didn’t let us down, a spectacular week!
I was very pleased with my start to the event going clean on day one meaning I got to ride the Tuesday with the Yellow leader board on which has always been an aim of mine. It was just the start I needed but very unusual for me as I can sometimes take a few sections to get in to the different style of riding meaning my first day in Scotland is not normally very strong.
Day two was a little trickier but I still couldn’t afford to make any big mistakes, as after the first day there were five riders still clean, so very tight at the top. My biggest let down was a couple of loose rocky sections where I just miss timed a couple of rides and ended up with me losing a few marks to start and round out day two.
Day three started off very confidently and felt like I was riding very well. I managed to hit all the lines I wanted and despite being my early day felt good on the bike and finished with another clean day.
Now over the half way stage it was still very tight at the top, I made a couple of little mistakes again on Thursday, but it was a case of damage limitation and keeping the figures low which I managed to do.
The last two days are normally a bit tougher as the final results start to become a bit clearer. I started confidently on Friday going clean for quite a while but then suffered a couple of mistakes as I got off line and had to correct myself.
Going in to the final day in fourth position I was confident, but knew I couldn’t afford any big mistakes, as a five would certainly put me out of the top five. I managed to get myself off line on a loose rocky section that cost me a couple to get back online early on in the day. Knowing there was a long day ahead and quite a few tough sections later in the day I hoped my mistake wouldn’t cost me too dearly. I managed to keep my head and finish on quite a good days score of three. That allowed me to hold on to fourth but also just miss out on third by one mark.
I was pleased overall as I managed to hit some targets I always set myself such as winning a day, and riding with the leader board on for the first time. It was also very enjoyable riding with a good friend Andy Chilton all week and to be riding consecutive numbers and to both set off with the leader board on Tuesday was a great feeling.
It was also a great help to have the support of Beta and all my other sponsors who help me get there and also my parents supporting me throughout the week putting some miles in.
Now it’s over for another year its back to concentrating on the BTC when the next one is in Wales. That’s it for this busy month, feet up till next time!