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Shrewsbury - Rd 6 - 9th

By  CJ Boom     09:28     
Tried to play it cool at the start of the race and not lead them all up the finish straight, as we turned onto Dave Mellor Off Camber Alley it descended into madness and all sorts of kids got in front of me, Delia fell over etc etc.
Got through that and back onto the tarmac to head into the back section of the course with Imogen Buick for company, just like at last weeks Champs.

Into the wooded section and the course had signifcantly deterioated from the mornings rock hard frozen landscape, we were no longer sliding our tyres on ice but through slushy mud.  I felt better, falling off in mud is a slower process, it feels more predictable and it hurts less as the ground is softer.

I love the wooded single track section, that went on for what felt like ages, on the Dugast I was cornering on rails. I rode up to Emily Barnes, tried to get her to jump on my wheel but she'd disappeared went I came out of the next corner, (turns out she was on fast treads and had no grip). Through the singletrack and out the other side with a whole heap of time on my side and not feeling too shabby.
Onto the tarmac to return to the main part of the course. This was the hardest part for everyone, a series of banks, covered in what felt like grease and various turns along those banks.

Running it, was the best option, and I did. After 2 laps I saw Hannah Payton, up ahead and pressed on to catch her after 3 I was there, up into 6th. I had her wheel going over the Finish Straight and we got the bell. Then crunch and twange, oh dear, I thought I might have dropped my chain, I pedalled and more crunching. Looking down there is was, a mech wrapped around the cassette and the chain lost somewhere.
I remember saying "oh no" in this quiet whinning voice.
In front of the crowd there was no where to hide, I grabbed the bike and ran for it. Covered in mud it was so heavy and running with long studs in the front of my shoe is tricky.
After what seemed like forever I got back to the pits and passed me flew Imogen Buick, now I'm right back where I started, into the pits and onto the second bike, the back tyre then flatted somewhere and I was sliding about in the wooded section, I had previously enjoyed.
Back into the main grass arena, Imogen was up ahead and I tried to catch her before the line, just 4 seconds too slow.
Dave Mellor's Mud Alley

Despite the drama, it was a course I really enjoyed, despite the unrideable banks and all the mud. I would really like to take a trip there again.
The 9th could have been a 5th or 6th and that would have meant 6th overall in the series standings, instead I ended up 7th overall in the Trophy Standings with the first round missed.

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