Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Cheddar Nationals Rounds 1 & 2
Well the past weekend saw the National series return and a trip to Cheddar in Somerset for rounds 1 & 2. In the last 3 years i must've been to this track 15 times, it's pretty played out, but it is super fast and does make for incredibly tight, exciting racing.
19+ was unreal. 39 riders registered for the Sunday and 35 registered for the Monday. So we had quarters both days, last year we didn't have quarters at one national! Riders have come up from junior men, Lee Bromfield, Jonathon Roberts and Nathan Routeledge. From Masters we got Shaun Andrews and from Elite, Flemdog and Graham Strickland. And lets not forget younger sibling Callum Strickland. Awesome talent, cool kid, flat pedals. Way to go!
Anyway Sunday wasn't the best day i've ever had, in fact it was pretty god damned awful with a 3 4 6 placing in the motos i got through to the quarter, but a bad gate, the big "19+ squeeze" and a hella stacked race saw me finish 5th and out for the day, i was so mad at myself. I've been feeling good of late, riding well, feeling strong and the one thing that was holding me back last year I had improved considerably, that was my gates, now i let my head get in the way of things. Damnit!
So Sunday was pretty lame for me, but i was impressed by so many, Tuffy, Callum, Chloe and Sam Taylor from Sheffield, Dad David was flying also. Lauren rode really well to get pushed out by lamo Ria G. Lauren is by far the most skilled in that class, she manuals and jumps more than the lot of them, but lady luck seems to always strike her down.
Other riders that impressed were Gareth Bates in Elite, looking fast man! Andy Shaw, Flemdog, Mike Pardon, Aaron Shrosbree, Jason Jessop in masters - power! Steve Williams looking uber smooth, but taking on the Jessop?! You must weight half the man!
I enjoyed hanging out with Terry, man, he makes me laugh. Good to catch up with Gunner and Marco and Dave Ives, hope the hand is alright mate, you would have been top 3 both days if you hadn't have gotten injured.
Mondays racing went a little better with a 3 2 2 in motos (although many hadn't showed so we were playing about a bit as we all were to transfer to the quarters, pumping races at a national - ha ha.) Quarter finals came round though and it was time to get serious, i got an easier quarter from the day before (thank God!) and managed to get a 2nd so a clear run into the semi final and a good lane pick.
Semis came about and true to form, nerves got the better of me, plus it was stacked, flemdog, Tuffy, Andy Little, Daniel Hodge, Marco, Richardson and G Strickland.. It could have been an A main. Just my luck eh?!
I chose lane 4 right between Flem and Hodge i think, mint. I got a good gate this time but in comparison to Flem it was like i was stood still, rather than be aggressive and battle through I hardly pedaled and found myself in a mass of bodies in the first turn, we came out and I got a clear line for the triple, i pedaled my heart out, landed flat bottom, lost my pump and pretty much was out of contention I managed to pick off a couple down the 3rd and 4th straights but finished in 6th behind a fuming Graham Strickland.
I made the B final and it was a good race, i managed to ride to a 4th, Graham won it.
Lauren didn't have much luck again either when Emily James turned diagonally down the 1st straight and wiped out her and another girl - Nice one! She even managed to lead the race for about 1/2 a straight until Ria pumped past her. Sort it out!
Flem took the 19+ A main by storm both days the guy still has it.
I was quite dissapointed, but I knew I didn't have the aggression in me, no idea why, I backed off a bit going into the 1st turn, if I'd have gone for it I may have taken a slam but then again i may have made the main, you can't odds it, guess I walked away with no injuries and I'm fit for the next one, but still I know I should have committed more, hopefully the feeling of frustration I had after this weekends racing will spur me on at Bournemouth, give me the aggression required to make it out of the semi and into the main.
We shall see.
No results yet, to be honest I'm afraid to look a them!