My second race of the year took place in Yair, trails that are local to me but ones I don't ever really ride. The stages were narrow, muddy, technically and awkward. They were a real test for everyone. Amateur to pro and everyone in between. My weapon on choice was the awesome Cube Stereo 140 Super HPC race 29er. The big wheels really helped keep the bike rolling in the thick mud.
Stage 1 was a my favourite stage of the race. It started high above Yair forest and threw riders down a flat out forest tunnel and then down into tighter more technical trail towards the bottom. In my race run I got really wild right at the top, hitting a tree and blowing my foot off the pedal. I told myself to calm down and try and focus on being smooth. This tactic worked well and I won the stage by 2 seconds. My first elite stage win. Stoked!
Stage 2 wasn't quite as strong. I overshot an off camber corner and went down, loosing a bit of time. I recovered well and made up as much time as I could. I had slipped a bit in the overall rankings finishing the stage in 5th but I was still in the running for a podium finish.
Stage 3 was by far the most technical of all the stages. Where my 29er had been an advantage on the other stages, on this stage it was a bit of a handful. The stage had cut up an awful lot and it was tricky right from the start. I had a few wild moments but managed to hold it all together to finish the stage in 6th.
I finished the day in joint 2nd place with a time of 00:14:22, there were two other riders and myself all tied for second but due to their quicker final stage times they had the opportunity to stand on the podium.
It was a good day all round for the Factory Pilot team with my team mate, Stuart taking the win.
The new team kit is looking awesome. Thanks to CUBE for their support this year, especially my team manager, Jarno for getting two extra mech hangers posted to me overnight. Thanks to The Bike Shop Scotland for keeping my bike in top condition, my girlfriend, Niamh for getting some vital race spares to me in time for racing and Scotoiler for helping me to keep my bike clean.
I have been working hard with DirtSchool lately to help me continue to step up my race performances and I'm looking forward to what the next couple of weeks brings. Till next time.