No gig this weekend so we got up early and went to the VTT Rando at Nieul. I opted for the 40 kms loop. Carla did the 30 kms. We were away at 08:45, a beautiful morning though a bit windy. Anyways, now the cyclo-cross season has started a lot of the young racers were missing. I found myself right up near the front with a gang on veterans including the current departmental champions for road and VTT!
After about 5 kms a group of three began to pull away. I went after them. Don’t forget, I’m riding my Spesh Epic, what an awesome bike. I’m gaining on the three, probably about 30 metres behind them. There’s a sharp right over a small footbridge, into a chemin. The three have disappeared! Just as I’m thinking they can’t have suddenly gone much quicker I hear them off to the left. They’ve missed the turn. I give it all I’ve got in an attempt to get out of sight.
I’m absolutely flying along, feeling the good pain. I’m making the most of my bike, railing over the rough ground, carving the turns like a man possesed. At the end of a long straight I take a quick look back. No one there! I push on, hard.
The trails are bone dry, and very fast. I’m sliding in some of the corners and using the edge of the trail as a berm to get me around. At the last moment I spot a mud hole. I’m going too fast to miss it. I look straight over it, and pedal as hard as I can. It’s deeper than I thought it might be, and slippy to. It shoots me to one side. I bang my knee hard on the handlebars. I come through in one piece, still upright, still on the bike. I have to ease up while I wait for the pain in my knee to subside. I change down and spin an easy grear.
A few minutes pass, and I’m picking up speed again. A rider arrives, he comes past, he’s riding hard, I chase after him. It feels like he’s trying to drop me. Some few kms later he pulls over and stops. I dunno why. He seemed to be going OK.
Back on my own again, and pushing hard. A marshall tells me there’s 10k left. Those last 10 kms were real roller-coaster stuff. Awesome trails, a real blast. 40 kms banged out in 1hr 49mins. Thanks to all at Cyclo Club Nieul for a great morning’s riding.