Last weekend we made the 430 mile trip to Cathkin Braes MTB Track in Glasgow, as used for the Commonwealth Games in 2014, for this year’s National MTB Championships. Due to some roadworks (where I couldn’t actually see any ‘work’ going on just miles of cones!) This took us almost 9 hours. When we finally arrived we had to unload Iain Webb so he could pitch up for the night before driving to Glasgow to where we would stay. A quick shower and a very nice Italian meal and it was time to get some sleep before the course practice on Saturday.
I arrived at the course around 10 to give plenty of time to set up my bike and relax before sign on and course practice opened at 12. Once practice was open myself, Holly Hoy, Nathan Gibson, Alex Dale and Iain set out for a lap, and I immediately knew that I loved the course, as it wasn’t long before we were met by some big rocks and drops (love it) and more technical features than you could ask for. The surface was similar to Hadleigh in the way that it is a gravel type all weather surface with mainly man made rock features so I straight away knew that the Mitas Scylla would be perfect.
After 3 laps of the course managing to ride all of the A lines successfully I felt good, lots of climbing and a great surface mixed with rocks would hopefully suit me well.
So Sunday it was race day. I was gridded 16th and after making a good start found myself just outside the top 10 going into the first technical section. I lost a few places soon after this but found myself on a group with other riders sitting in around 15th position before a chain drop on the second lap meant that they got away from me. I managed to catch 2 of the riders from the group in front but 3 had got too much of a gap into me for it to be possible to make up the time. After fighting for the whole race I finished in 18th place, my highest national finish at the biggest race of the year!
George Crocombe - HMTBC Youth Team and BC Eastern Region Youth Team Member