MS&G - Round 6 – Hintlesham Race Report (Open Male)
Blimey, is it that time already? Yep, another MSG rolled around scarily quick on Sunday and before I knew it we were hurtling up the A12 towards Hintlesham. As seems to be tradition I was pretty much the last to arrive for the morning race, meaning that I could basically get straight on with my practice lap! That is after Kev helped me sand down the newish scratches in my fork stanchions… A quick fix for an issue that I feel is gonna cost me in the long run!
The venue was beautiful and the weather pretty perfect for my practice lap. The course started on a brutal uphill start/finish straight, before a nice long flat section and then the big downhill stretch, possibly my favourite part of the course! Nothing quite like hitting 30mph on bumpy grassland. Then after a little more peddling we hit the woods, mostly made up of flowey quick fire roads with a little single-track here and there, great for overtaking! After crossing a very impressive temporary bridge and tackling a small section of techy climb I found the course’s only A-line, a steep mud decent with a bump on the right to get some air off if you fancied it! Then back onto the fireroads with lots of fast descents and punchy climbs to get the lungs working, all broken up by a lovely bit of twisty single-track in the middle. You were chucked out of all of this into a sharp right hander to start the long slow climb back up the field to the start/finish. I was very happy with my practice lap and enjoyed the course despite it’s non technical nature.
Around 20 minuets later we began gridding and I got placed on the second row of my category, surrounded by some seriously quick looking guys! With my start gear selected all that was left to do was wait for the gun.
My start… could have been better. The gear I’d selected was slightly too hard to push up the hill so I had a little wobble getting going. After I did get going I promptly got crashed into and then myself crashed into the guy in front, not my proudest moment. Things got better though, that gear eventually powered my up the hill into about 8th position by the top. Things stayed like that for a while, with some minor position jostling while moving up through the other category’s riders, something I always feel a little bad doing. On the second lap I did get a particularly epic overtake down the dirt drop, with the line to the right proving more than a little faster then the safer left line. On my third lap I moved up to 6th and battled hard up the climbs to stay there. On my last lap however I found that the two guys behind me had left a little more in the tank, and both took me on a grassy flat over at the back of the course. I pushed to keep on their rear but just couldn’t keep the pace on the climbs and ended up crossing the line in 8th, around 30 seconds behind 7th.
This matched my best result so far this season so is a result I’m very happy with, and it’s the first time gaining a top 10% place in my category! It was a race that I enjoyed a lot in a fantastic venue and I can’t wait to come back next year. Many thanks to everyone supporting the teams, the guys and girls on the drinks station and all the Hadleigh riders out on course for their words of encouragement. Bring on Radical Bikes!