Riding for Cycle Shack and using my trusted Accelerade Hydro and Schwalbe's Racing Ralph 29er 2.1 rear and Rocket Ron 29er 2.25 on my cannondale ultimate I set off after the pre countdown whistle went catching us all of guard,
Following another Cycle Shack team mate initially until I passed him clipping a tree on the way with my bar ends.
Having experienced this part of the course, i was able to Pull ahead rolling the 29er tyres over the ruts after my previous days test laps I had blasted on the 26er, it was certainly more flowing with the 29er wheels through these sections all the way down to the bottom end to the course managing to stretch a few min lead.
I found using the Schwalbe Ron 29er 2.25 on the front it helped my cornering at speed better in the mud and the 2.1 Ralph cut through the mud nicely at the back, but still giving me a smooth ride at 22psi rear and 20psi front,
At the bottom end of the course I managed the first sharp climb in big ring first gear on my set up every time it is great to build your bike from scratch so you know what works at what does not.
I shaved a minute and a half off my lap times the night before after the heavy rain prob not best though to hammer the course the night before but I was only aloud out for an hour and I was having fun.
I must add looking at the conditions of the course the night before and when I arrived I made the decision not to use the Stans race gold 1300g wheels and trashing the Sram xx cassette n gold KCMC10SL chain like I did at mayhem and the Scottish National the weight saving in the mud is compromised, and Its great having 2 setups on one frame that gets rotated and works well.
After my third lap I slowed it down after being told the lead I had and cruised the last lap but not making mistakes, I have not pulled out of a race this year and after 24hrs MountainMayhem severe conditions I pride myself that I finish what I start.
I finished not out of breath and relaxed, and welcomed a massage on the tired legs from John Buchan wife at Vivifi which was great.
1 31 Nick Popham Cycle Shack / Forme Coaching 4 1.16.35 17.35
Happy with lap times but glad not overdone it for next weekend and have made some strada sections which allows you to see where one need to improve.