Other Sports Magazine

European Champs 2011 – Relay

By Stodge @stodgeblog

European Champs 2011 – RelayRelay day was back in the same forest as the Middle race of yesterday, this time though we went by car, thinking we would like to avoid the drenched rat look on the start line. Luckily in the end the rain stayed away until after lunch and yesterdays standing water had mostly drained away.

Team GB was Iain Stamp on first leg, Andy Douglas on second with me on the anchor.

Our game plan was not to come last and to try and beat a couple of the less able MTBO countries.

Iain got a good start but could just not stay with the pace of the Russians, Czechs, Finns and Swiss. Just before the spectator control he had a spectacular off and bent his mapboard which eventually fell off. He had to ride one handed carrying it in his hand for the rest of the course…

European Champs 2011 – Relay
Andy took over just behind the Danes and the Portuguese. The Danish second leg rider pulled away but Andy stayed with the Portuguese and together they caught the Swiss B team. Andy handed over to me just in front of them.

I went off as hard as I could, seemed to phaff for ages trying to get my map into the board before gunning it towards number one on the tail of the Swiss rider. We had slightly different gaffles but we duck and dived through the first 7 controls taking turns at the front but the Swiss guy was slightly fitter than me. Finally he made a mistake and I got away, two controls before the spectator loop. I was riding really fast, heart pounding, legs screaming, but I managed to back off through the spectator control enough to ensure I razzed the last few. Just as I screamed down through the houses to the last control I saw the Slovakian team just ahead. I gave it everything but could just not catch him finishing just 6 secs behind.

European Champs 2011 – Relay
I always seem to be able to pull it out of the bag on mass start events and relays, my time of 24.01 mins just 1-2 mins down on the best riders in the world. Perhaps on normal races I just don’t make myself hurt enough ! but the navigation was very easy today having been on the same area yesterday.

In the end we were 14th, a great result beating a Swiss, the Portuguese, Italian, Lithuanian, Ukrainians and of course a couple other teams who mispunched.

Tomorrow is a rest day with a fun sprint 2×2 relay. We are then heading into St Petersburg with the Danes to do a little sightseeing.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog