Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Race Report Irish NPS Round 8 - Djouce Woods

Entering a downhill section

The last round of the Irish NPS was organized by EPIC and took place in Djouce. As usual, EPIC put on a great show, which wasn’t even hampered by the fact that it had rained cats and dogs all day before and softened up the course. I knew the course would be a challenge: it was mostly twisty and uppy downly singletrack, a few steep technical climbs and a good few off camber sections which were hard enough to ride in the dry with a fireroad climb towards the end. At the start line I was joined by Ciara McManus and Sylvia Gallagher and we were let off with the masters for our 3 lap race.

Sean (2nd expert), Mel (1st Elite Ladies), Ryan (2nd Elite Men)

Due to the massive field of master riders this year, the first singletrack section was a walking/running affair. It took quite a while to get a flow in, but by the end of XTC we’ve found a rhythm. I was taking it comfortable enough, making up places on the climbs, but mostly loosing them again (and some more) on the muddy singletrack. I was struggling most on the off camber bits – they are definitely an “underdeveloped strength” of mine.... Each lap I concentrated on riding them well. I was most surprised when a flying Sean Downey passed me on one of the singletrack sections – he was back after exam time in great form: only a few weeks ago I was putting him under pressure! I had a few battles with some of the masters and vet riders as well and finally finished the race in 1st, 11min30sec ahead of Ciara McManus in 2nd place.

Results downloadable here.

Pics from Arek's picasa gallery.

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