It was an early start on Saturday morning to travel to Nottingham for the first round of the British XC MTB Series.  We arrived at about 11:30 with enough time to get ready for the first practice at 12:00.  The course was a lot different from the previous year, it had a lot less elevation, actually no elevation, apart from a short clip entering the woods.  It was also the opposite way round which made things interesting because I had to learn a whole new course.  The course was not one I preferred but it was what it was.

I was very nervous on Sunday morning because I didn’t know what to expect due to the fact that I was gridded 30th, right in the middle of the pack of 70 riders and this was the first MTB race of the season.  The race start was very fast right off the start as usual but somehow leaving the arena section for the first time I was up to 12th which was unexpected.  Then going round the first lap of four was passing riders one at a time and was shocked that I was up to 4th.  Ben Bright was up the road and was flying and just behind the race leader.  I tried getting away from two other riders but quickly they were back on my wheel, going into the second lap I was still with the 3rd and 4th placed riders, and maintaining a good pace.  Going into the last lap I re-took 4th place and when the rider in front tangled with a back marker I took the opportunity to take third place and led the other two for ¾ of the last lap and was now in a good position to get the podium.  In the arena section there was an ‘A’ line and I risked going over just to gain a second or two as the others took the ‘B’ line.  It was then flat out just about holding off the other two to finish third.  I was very chuffed with how the race went and my position and now excited for the rest of the season.