British National MTB XC Championships - Cannock

Sean Flynn | Thursday 14th September, 2017

Following my successful race at the road race champs the week before I was hoping to feel confident going into the MTB national champs in Cannock, a course I have previously performed well on. However during the week I was having some stomach problems which left me unsure how my form would be. Nevertheless I tried to prepare just as well as I normally would to give myself the best possible chance of performing at my best.

Course practice was on Saturday and I was able to get quickly up to speed on the course having ridden most of it in previous years. I enjoyed course practice and I seemed to be feeling fairly good so I was looking forward to the race.

Following some overnight rain, there was question marks as to how the course would be riding adding an extra element of excitement and nerves. I was happy to have a front row grid giving me the opportunity to get a good start and get involved in the action at the front of the race. The opening lap went well for me as I was able to put myself in a lead group of 6 riders which had formed by the end of the lap. I enjoyed riding in this group as it was a constant battle for position and the dynamic of the group was always changing in the slippery conditions. At the end of the second lap the pace was ramped up causing the group to split up. I found myself fighting hard in 5th position wanting to keep myself in contention to move up a spot. It was very tough as there was little recovery on the course and it was very twisty so it was hard to see riders in front. My suffering was rewarded as I entered my final lap when 4th position came into sight. I pushed even harder and managed to quickly move into 4th, knowing that I had to keep working hard to maintain this position. In the end I managed to hold onto 4th place, a result I was mostly satisfied with as I had been able to get the better of some very strong riders, yet I would have liked to be involved in the fight for the podium places for a bit longer.

Overall I had to be happy with the result as it confirms that I have been able to successfully make the transition from the youth to junior ranks successfully by remaining competitive as a first year which is what I had aimed to achieve coming into the season.

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