Gorrick Autumn Classic

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BY: Louise Robinson

Published: 29th September, 2014

After nearly breaking myself at Bontrager 24:12, there was a point this summer when I just didn't want to ride my bike. I know....that's just not normal! But it wasn’t just the race that did me in. It was trying to fit in training for a 12 hour solo around a job, two kids and looking after a house that really did it. So my resolution from September 1st has been to ditch the endurance work and try to get back into enjoying the riding. And it has been working. Shorter rides, getting out with friends and just doing what I fancy has rekindled my mojo. Sufficiently so to give XC racing another go.

Yesterday’s Gorrick Autumn Classic was held at regular venue Cesar’s Camp. It is not normally one of my favourite venues but after being used a number of times earlier this year the Gorrick team made a concerted effort to produce a new and different race course. They certainly succeeded. The long slog up the gravel climb was out, replaced with a number of short sharp climbs instead. Lots of new single track was included (and quite a few rabbit tracks) and some of the old favourites were run in different directions.

The ladies expert field was minus quite a few of the usual names but we still mustered as many entrants as the men’s race. The course started at the bottom of a small rise which immediately lead into a section of single track. I knew how important a good start would be and so I made the effort to get to the front and lead the girls into the first section. Amy-Jo Hansford was going like a train for Mud Sweat and Gears, and passed me on the first fire road section a few minutes later. She disappeared out of sight and I concentrated on keeping the heavy breathing of Louise Fox well and truly behind me. By the half-way point of the course Amy-Jo was back in sight and I slowly worked my way back up to her. We became trapped behind several of the sport men on one of the "rabbit tracks" and so I just used the time to recover and made a break for it at the top of the climb. The rabbit tracks were 20-30cm wide sections cut through the heather which were good fun to ride when you had a clear run but hugely frustrating in traffic because there was absolutely no overtaking space and if someone in front made a mistake (once you were off the line you were hub deep in heather) everyone was off.

Making an effort at the start - unusually for me I got a good clean start

By the end of the first lap I was back in the lead with Amy-Jo and Louise closely behind. Lap 2 was uneventful; I just kept working my way slowly through the men’s sport field and really enjoyed riding in the sunshine. Lap 3 was a bit of a dodgy lap however. I ended up in a void for most of the lap. No-one immediately in front or behind me and my mind started to wander. I subconsciously switched into 12 hour pace. That was until Isaac Pucci blasted past me and woke me up! I dug back in for the remainder of the lap and managed to push out a decent paced lap 4 to keep Louise Fox at bay by just over a minute.

Keeping the girls at bay - early in lap 1

In the men’s Expert race, Isaac Pucci and Will Taylor looked locked together for the first 3 laps until Isaac lit his booster rockets and pulled out his fastest two laps to take the victory.

Nick Evans gets his moment of glory as he leads out the Mens Expert Race

In the master ladies race, Maxine Filby was getting in a bit of short course practice and Hannah Bussey made a return to racing after the birth of her daughter Kodi, 4 months ago. A hard earned second place for Hannah behind Maxine was well deserved. Especially when you consider the fact that Hannah’s race warm up involved feeding baby Kodi them jumping on her bike with moments to spare before the gun.

The start of the Ladies Masters Race - "On a scale of 1 to childbirth, that was an 8!!" Said Hannah Bussey after the race

In the Master Plus male category Kim Little was dominant and in the Veteran Plus category Roki Read looked set to give Owen Pattinson some serious trouble for the first lap or so but eventually had to settle for second, three minutes up on his 3rd placed team mate Paul Wellicome after a nearly off on lap 2 left him wishing for more padding in his cycling shorts.

Owen Patterson takes an early lead in the Mens Veterans Plus Race

An excellent morning’s racing in the sunshine. A great course although somewhat lively in places with gorse, brambles and nettles in full flourish and some really loose corners littered with pinecones and leaf fall. The tight twisty single track was great fun to ride although a few of the unmarked corners got me every lap. Looking forward to the next one at Crowthorn Woods already.

Many thanks to the Gorrick team for their hard work as always, Roki from Owens Cycles who handed me a bottle and all the racers who made it a great event.

More on the Gorrick XC Endura Autumn Classic 1:
Event Calendar Listing

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Louise Robinson

Mum, Pharmacist and XCracer Team Rider

Read More By Louise

This blog post was written by a third party and their views do not necessarily reflect the views of XCRacer.com

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