Tweedlove Scottish Championships
The Tweedlove Scottish Championships or King and Queen of the hill as it is usually known is one of my favourite races of the year. Previous years this race has provided me with some breakthrough results, most notably winning the 2014 incarnation. This year, Tweedlove promised a technically challenging course and they delivered this and then some.
Using a multitude of trails made famous by the Enduro World Series rounds in 2014 and 2015 the stage was set for an epic shootout to crown the Scottish Enduro Champion. The TweedValley had been enjoying a summer revival in the days leading up to the race and dust could even be found up on the hill. Then the rain came. As is tradition before all big race events in the valley. Dust turned to mud, hard trails turned to really hard trails and the spiked tyres came out.
I spent a fair bit of time in Fall Line Cycles getting the Process 111 prepared for the testing conditions. I fitted a mud spike to the front and moved my usual front tyre, a maxxis shorty to the rear. I added a longer mud guard to the fork and even went for a mud guard on the down tube to help capture stray pieces of flying mud. New brake pads were also fitted, organic of course and I was good to go.
Since there was no seeding at this race I made a tactical decision to go last in the starting order. I did this because I felt that there was chance that the stages would have developed some good lines by the time I started and I would be able to carry good speed. This was not the case, by the time I arrived at each stage it had been battered by 400 or so riders and it was not drying out. In fact the trails were incredibly difficult to ride fast, such was the amount of mud sprawled everywhere. I knew after stage 1 that I'd made the wrong decision going last and it would be near impossible to podium because simply, I was riding different tracks to everyone else who had gone earlier. But I'm not one to dwell on the "what if" and I decided I'd just ride my own race.
Happily this tactic worked out well and I really enjoyed my day. Particular highlights were a 3rd place stage result on stage 3 which I was really pleased with given the state it was in. I rode hard and had a few moments and a few mistakes but managed to claim 6th overall. Reflecting on the result now I am pretty happy with what I managed to achieve given the conditions of the stages by the time I arrived.
My bike was absolutely flawless and worked amazingly well in the torrid conditions.
Some training time now as I prepare for my first XC race in September. I have just received a 2017 Hei Hei Carbon race which I'm really excited to show you guys in an upcoming blog.
Till next time.