Where to begin. Laggan is one hell of a spot. The trails are classically Scottish in nature. They are steep, tight and often muddy. The NoFuss team has prepared an awesome race course for us featuring everything from trail centre single track to fresh cut "brown trails" Laggan is known for.
6 stages made for a big day out and the weather had been unkind to us. It had rained before and during practice making the tracks difficult to navigate.
Stage 3 and 6 caused particular concern among rider and many were struggling. It was good fun to slide around in the mud though! I practiced the stages alone and focused on safe lines to ensure consistent runs come racing.
I set my bike up with slower rebound in the rear shock than I usually run. I dropped the pressure from 290psi to 250psi and only ran 2 clicks of rebound from fully closed. I also ran a different tyre on the rear. I used a Dirty Dan from schwalbe tyres in the super gravity casing. I cut down the tyre so it rolled faster on the trail centre sections by grinding down the middle knobs. I also ran lower pressures with 25psi in the front and 27psi on the rear. The set up worked well and gave me the grip I needed in the difficult conditions.
Race day was a mixed bag for me. Stage 1 and 2 went really quite well. I was a bit off the pace but in touch. Going into the off-piste stages I felt I could try and push harder and try and improve my position.
I set off down stage 3, I was carrying good speed and feeling I could attack the trail. Then I came to a crucial section I had spent alot of time on during practice. A high line which involved setting up well in advance and cutting two corners. I went for it but was slightly off line, I carried too much speed into the next corner and ended up going over a large ledge, backwards. I fell onto my back and really hurt myself. I was hurt but collected myself to finish the stage.
My crash had knocked the wind out of my sails but I was determined to try and keep points in the overall. I rallied to finish stage 4, 5 and 6 and ended up getting 6th place behind so very, very fast racers.
It was bitter sweet. I'm still 3rd in the points chase but 6th is not the result I am looking for at these races.