Ben’s Race Report:
Walters arena in Wales was host to 2 extreme races on Sunday 5th December.
Race 1 started at a very fresh and cold 9.30am and would be for 2hrs. A slightly less extreme race to what race 2 would be.
I started well and was 4th off the line. After the first few corners and a couple of hills I was up into 2nd, then 1st once we hit the woods and trees. Starting so early the conditions stayed cold throughout and my fingers were freezing so after I had a little lead I was warming them on my exhaust while on the fire roads and easier sections. The other thing that made it very difficult starting early was such a low sun and the reflection off the riverbeds and puddles was blinding and made it difficult to see. Anyway, we kept a steady pace and the TPI didn’t need a fuel stop as was only a 2hr race so with about a minute or 2 lead I was able to keep it steady and bring it back for P1.
A quick change of wheel, brake pads and some food it was only 45minutes until race 2 started at 12.30. This was the same course as the 1st race with some added extreme bits in to make it a little tougher, more suited to my style of riding.
Again, I was about 3rd off of the line but having the advantage of knowing the 1st few corners on from race one I hit the front early on and managed to pull a good gap. The conditions were extremely slippery and the rock gardens had dragged up plenty of mud but running the Michelin extreme rear tyre gave me plenty of grip. I kept steady throughout and thought I had a big gap until the last lap where I had company, just when I could have done with not racing flat out as had been in the saddle for 4hrs now. But sometimes you have to dig deep! I was flat out for the entire last lap. Held off for race 2 P1 so a successful weekend. The bike ran perfectly for both races and couldn’t fault it.
Possibly the best venue in the UK for an extreme race so I recommend the valleys extreme to anyone who fancies a test of extreme riding.
Onto the next one which is an extreme down the West Country this weekend.