grafhamThis weekend saw us travelling up the rain-lashed A1 to Grafham Water, one of my favourite circuits, and the first really muddy race of the season. I made up for my poor start of last week and led this one almost from the whistle, getting into a good rhythm early on and finding myself with a decent gap by the end of the first lap.

Ultra-low tyre pressure helped me pick my way round a course that was very sloppy in places and very bumpy in others, with two beach sections, some rooty singletrack and a decent sized ditch thrown in for good measure. I pushed on as hard as I could, trying not to think about the riders behind and the fact that the ‘laps to go’ board seemed to be signalling way too many laps to go. The mud and grass wasn’t really sticking to the disc bike in the way that it seemed to be for the canti bikes, but I swapped bikes twice as a precaution, hoping to avoid the kind of rear-mech mishap that plagued me last season and that put one of my club-mates out of the V40 race earlier in the day.

A smooth last lap, steering clear of back markers and a wayward dog, crossing the line with my second open category win of the season.

I’ve got some catching up to do if I want to get back on terms with Mr Holmes, but this was a step in the right direction. It’s an Eastern double-header next weekend. Watch this space.

Thanks to Geoff Waugh for the photo –