|The Elite Women's start - photo by Gareth Gibbons|
|On XTC, photo by Gareth Gibbons|
Then, my biggest competitor and my biggest motivator, Cait Elliott was going to be missing from the champs, getting over an injury that has kept her from racing all this year. Nonetheless, 9 women lined up at the start of my race on an unusually hot and windy Sunday in a field across from the Powerscourt waterfalls - full marks for scenery!
We went off and I took the bull at its horns and went to the front from the start. Unfortunately we were set off behind all the other category men, so soon enough we caught on to their tail and and then it was just a question of how many men can you overtake on the fireroad sections before being stuck behind the next men on the technical and tight singletrack. I made it round the 4 laps quickest of all of the women without any major incidents, so for the first time I won the national mtb champs for real! And was selected for anti-doping control, again.....my 3rd time in 5 weeks!
|Elite Women's podium: Ciara McManus 2nd, Mel Spath 1st, Claire Oakley 3rd (Photo by Conor Graham)|
So what will it be? Road racing complemented by mtb training or mtb racing complemented by road training..... The way things are, I think it'll be the first option, but that's a whole new blog post.....
Full results and report available on StickyBottle.
Thanks to Aine Conneff for perfect pit support as usual. Thanks also to my sponsors, especially
- Cycleways for the amazing new Specialized Epic 29er, making up fabulously for the lack of extended skills training
- Schwalbe for providing the right underfooting with a choice of great 29er tires
- KCNC for super light and high-quality finishing kit
- Zipvit for fulfilling the serious Elite athlete's nutritional needs, especially on a hot sunny day like this - I used the ZipVit extreme Energy drink this time to make up for the salt lost in the buckets of sweat!