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“In my prep for XTERRA France (an off-road triathlon) in July I decided to do an XC MTB (cross country mountain bike) race to help get some race practice in and to get some MTB ranking points as well. Plus, I’d heard good things about the course at Woody’s so when the opportunity came up to race there, I leapt at it!
The bike park is in Cornwall so we piled into the van, drove down the night before and were greeted with torrential rain, high winds and thunderstorms which made for an interesting night… On getting up the next day the storm had passed, I was pleasantly surprised when walking the course that it was actually bone dry?!
The course lived up to all my expectations, it was steep going both up and down, with some proper technical features on the descents. The climbs were brutal, but overall the course was great fun. For some reason I was incredibly nervous before the race, usually I only get nervous before big events and I still don’t know why I was so nervous about a regional XC race but the body and mind are strange sometimes.
The race started and I got the holeshot (first around the first corner) which was brilliant as it gave me a clear track going into the technical descents. At the end of the first lap another lad and myself had a good gap on the rest of the field and pressed on. It was in the second lap though that I realised I had good legs for the brutal climbs and decided to just go for it. I managed to ride away from him and into the lead solo.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with XC MTB, the race is typically 90 mins long so breaking away on the second lap was definitely a bold move! There were definitely times over the subsequent laps where I wondered if I had gone too soon, but I managed to stay away and hang on for the win.
Crossing the line I was very tired and led on the floor for a while but was massively stoked with my performance, as it is the first time I’ve put together what I feel capable of this season after a slow start. So hopefully this means I will be peaking well for my triathlon in France and I will get a good result there also…
Big thanks to the bike park owners and event organisers for putting together such a fun and challenging course.” – Ashley de Lotz, Alé Ambassador.
You can keep up to date with Ash’s 2022 events and cycling antics over on his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashleydelotz/