MS&G Round 5 – Phoenix Bike Park – Jonathan Stanford

Phoenix was my first MSG race.  Kevin Darragh has been training the Rookie Squad members for a race at Hadleigh Park, but the cows had other ideas so the race was moved to Phoenix Cycleworks in Suffolk. 

(Photo Credit Kev Darragh)

We arrived to find the club marquees set up and a large number of familiar faces all going about their race preparations.  I did the practice lap but elected to take the B lines after the wooden steps of the first A line put me off.  MSG say their B lines can be ridden by almost anyone and I would agree.  It came to gridding and I chose to stay at the back, but soon found myself making up places as the field thinned out.  I could only really take on fluids on the long start straight and was greatly helped by Paul Cavalla with a welcome water bottle in the pits.  I completed my third lap with a Commissaire saying “Two more laps - probably!”.  As I neared the end of the lap, Kevin was there giving the welcome news that I was on the last lap and also that I needed to overtake the rider in front! I came in 55th out of 83 riders.  It was a great atmosphere with good friendly racing, and the range of abilities of the riders meant anyone would find someone to race against.  I would recommend it to anyone thinking of having a go at racing.