As you know the club decided to support those riders attending RSR's (regional Schools of Racing) and National Events. In return they agreed to write reports on their experiences in the hope that some of the experience gained by them could be passed onto other Slipstreamers. Its a big step up from u12 racing in all disciplines with the races being faster, at different venues with bigger groups of riders and in the off road racing the terrain is a lot more demanding. The Cyclocross reports have already been published here are the Mountain bike reports. With our new website it is easily editable so if any one else wants to add a report or piece of news please email the club secretary and we will get it up on the site.
Here are some of their thoughts...
Pembrey National MTB XC Round 1 - By Isla Mason
Didn't get great positioning on the start line but from lots of training and practising at club sessions and during the warm up before the race, I managed to get to a great start and get towards the front of the group. Going into the woods it was crowded as all the girls were still together but soon me and two other girls made a break from the main group after the front three who had gone from the start line. When getting to a steep hill I jumped off my bike and ran up the hill. I was nervous about going down the Hill as I'd fallen off here in the warm up but after a few tips from my coaches I managed to come down successfully learning how to do this.
Unfortunately I was too nervous to attempt 2 of the A routes even when I'd been taught how to do it I didn't do it although on the last one after being taught and understanding how to do the A route I attempted it although I fell off in the end so I didn't do it in the race which was what led to me losing my position in fourth to fifth as it was so close to the finish line.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the race and would love to do it again and I am very excited for the next one . I hope it's just as good and I am better at the course from the skills I have learnt which I know will help me in the regionals.
Pembrey national MTB XC Round 1 - By Sulli Berry
When I went to pembrey country park to do a HSBC UK National MTB Cross Country Series event I was nervous because it was my first National MTB event however I had been to pembrey before to do a mountain bike event but it had been when I was in U12s and it was not a national.
When I went round my first practice I got a big shock because a lot of sections of the course were as technical as A lines in the midland league also when we took a look at the A lines they looked incredibly difficult. I did attempt 1 of the A lines and went straight over my handlebars as I fell down a drainage ditch after failing a gap jump. After a few more practice laps the rest of the course didn't seem so daunting.
On the race day we were gridded differently to how we do in the midland league they call each category up and grid a certain number of riders down lanes and then call them up onto the grid. I was on the 5th row out of 6 and also I lined up behind a person who I thought would have a good start. They turned out to be a really slow starter. Also I got completely cut up and I couldn't go any where because I was on the edge of the grid. The starts are incredibly hectic. Although all this happened I still managed to be 17th when I passed my dad on the first lap which was 11 places higher then my gridding position.
The course was very hard with many steep, sandy, slippery hills however I came in in 23rd place 5 places higher than I was gridded.
I learned a lot and it was a brilliant experience and it was a very tough course for my first national event.