Race Report: Cannock Chase Winter Classic 2014

Race Date: 23/02/14

Race Type: XC MTB

Result: 3rd

Performance: Very happy 8/10

I had done the Cannock Chase Winter Classic (organised by Go Run & Ride) the year before and when I saw it advertised again for 2014 I put my name down as I was itching to be entered for some races of some sort.

I hadn’t ridden the mountain bike for a while, so I went for a quick gentle spin around Clayton Vale just to blow the cobwebs out.

I got to Cannock an hour before the race time and managed to get a little section of the course in for a practice. I just wanted to warm up and check the gears, brakes and everything was all good.

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I positioned myself near the front of the start line so I could avoid the bottle neck traffic in the first corner. From previous racing experience, everyone goes mental at the start, enough to just hold you up when it turns single track and then it can become something of a queue.

I managed to consolidate 3rd position from the first few turns and didn’t lose touch with the leading pair until I hit the deck in the wet rooted wooded section. I took a hit to the ribs at low speed and didn’t really think much of it. I got up and had to rip out some rogue long grass that had been caught around my rear gear cassette. This cost me a few seconds and a couple of positions that I managed to claw back on one of the longer climbs. I was happy about that as it’s usually my climbing that can let me down in these races. I have the ability to go quickly down hill and do better at the more technical parts of the course.

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The 2014 route wasn’t that technical so there was less chance of me to make my usual gains. I think my riding skill comes mainly from the years spent motocross riding and being familiar with the bike being loose and comfortable with being uncomfortable. I tried to initiate a gap to 4th which pulled out enough for me relax and not have to take too many chances.

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I held on for a solid 3rd position, despite me losing some ground towards the end of the race. I had accounted for that which is where the big middle effort came from. I timed it well and was really happy to get a podium and a few pints afterwards.

The only bad news about this race possible came 2 days after. I ran 12 miles on Monday, the day after the race and woke up Tuesday with a severely tight and sore right ITB. Looking back on my history and discussing it with my coach Paul Savage, it can be traced back to running after mountain bike causes ITB issues.

The position of a road bike, TT bike and mountain bike differ quite a lot. I was riding the MTB hard and really pushing it. Then to do a long run the day after may have initiated the problem.

I’ve since, ran and ridden the road bike as usual without any problems to further point the finger at the guilty MTB!

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About James Wilson

Trying to get to Kona over a 3 year period. Starting from scratch, to targeting the Big Island in 2016

Posted on April 8, 2014, in Cycling, injury, Personal, Racing, running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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