A little Monkey Business – Merida Brass Monkey series
Where do I begin with the series……. Cold, muddy, damp and lots of fun!
As with all the races in the series it started with an early night in preparation for the drive to the venue, up at 4am ready for the tiring 8 hours round trip, and yes you may think why bother but RD1 was all about Nigel receiving the trophy he deserved for 3rd place male solo at 12:12 Torq in your sleep
Although it looks a little awkward, what you can’t see is the 200+ riders at the start line in front of him and the strong gust of wind that nearly blew him off the box in front of the crowd, which would have made great viewing!
The course on RD1 had been moved to a new location…. Shorter and flatter which wasn’t ideal and didn’t mean easier. As we lined up for the 4 hour race I really didn’t know what to expect, you tend to do the glance around to try and spot your competition but it’s hard to spot your female vet competition amongst the crowds.
The course was a total mud fest and quite windy which made for an interesting race! After the second lap I rode through transition and spotted another female going through ahead and as she did the announcement came, “1st female vet closely followed by second place Donna Waring”, so not too bad but then she pulled up to the pits and I rode past her so I knew I was in first position, just need to hold onto it!
After what felt like a 4 hour cyclocross race the end was in sight, 1st female vet, quite chuffed with that;)
And round 2, well after my first win thought I may as well finish the series something to keep me going through winter in preparation for Strathpuffer in January. This course was longer as I had expected with a few more little kick ups and technical descents, after a good start I surprised myself by hanging onto first position, so all to do on the last round!
Round 3 brought its own problems for me, the main one being that due to the weather it had been postponed for 2 weeks which at any other time would be fine, however the week before Strathpuffer didn’t fill me with joy!
As we set off at 5am for our now regular trip south there was a common theme on the way down.. snow everywhere. In my head I wanted to win but I knew I just needed to podium to win the series and take no risks, puffer was more important….ha until I started! It was a cold start and with the combination of hail, snow and rain it wasn’t the most pleasant conditions but I plodded on, in the hope that the weather would force some to quit. I had no idea throughout which position I was in as there were no announcements through transition which was a little frustrating if not annoying to start with, but I thought no risks!
On my last lap I looked at the time and in all honesty I could have got another lap in, but I really didn’t want to. And where was Nigel? I was quite used to him passing me towards the end but he hadn’t and I couldn’t see him anywhere, a fall possibly! As I approached the last slog to transition there he was stood on the side, so I pulled up to ask what was wrong. Nigel had a fall around 3 hours in and decided not to cause further injury and pulled out……. Wise decision. What can I say I loitered around the finish until 4 hours had lapsed then rode through the finish to take the win, and the series:)
Nigel came 5th overall in the series which is a great result for us both in our first winter series
I want to say a huge Thankyou to our sponsor Chiacharge couldn’t survive the race without them, just having the bar in my rear pocket and getting the calories/ nutrition in has made a huge improvement and weaned me off energy gels.
Also I want to give credit to the organisers of this event as they have been so supportive from dealing with the incident at Torq in a professional manner to give Nigel his podium position and also offering somewhere to camp if needed knowing the long journey we had been making, Gorrick Team you are Fab!