The Dalby BMBS race had been a great booster in terms of racing and I was looking forward to the World Cup at the end of May as a test on the course. The run up to the event saw a mixture of training and racing, the last race being the Irish NPS at Tollymore Forest the weekend before the big event where I had a lead on Cait Elliott for all of two laps after she had a slight mechanical, but where she caught me again on the last lap, something wasnt right, I was struggling to keep the intensity up. The week up to travelling to England was spent resting and preparing and myself and Conor as TeamSummit headed off for the long drive from Scotland to the northeast of England. We arrived at Dalby late on Thursday evening to see world MTB champion Jose Hermida spinning his way through the village. After a long queue to register on Friday morning it was time to get a couple of practice laps into the course. The course hadn't changed much from the previous round of the British Series with the sole exception of a slight change in the start area and the added section at Dixons Hollow through a cool BMX style course as well as a "Bus Stop" section out of Worry Gill. As the previous month I decided not to ride Medusa's and riding the drop out of the Bus Stop was causing problems, however I figured I had two days to sort it out so no worries - nailed it on my last practice!
Friday evening was spent watching the ProSprint Eliminator in Dalby village, what a mental way to spend your world cup race prep! Conor had signed up for the Dalby Dare citizens event which took in the World Cup course and some more trails surrounding, so after another short practice lap on Saturday morning we got Conor ready for the Dare and off he went. One and a half laps of the course and into the surrounding forest and after 1hr 24mins Conor was back with a big smile on his face - 66th position out of 208 riders, not bad for someone who doesnt train!
Sunday morning arrived and I was feeling good after a good night's sleep despite having to move the bed into the living room cause of noisy neighbours. Warming up I was feeling a bit nervous but the fact that I had been here before at the British round made things more relaxed. We were called to the holding pens and the top three lines were gridded leaving the rest of us to elbow into the back rows. Finally we were given the 15secs to go warning and BANG off we went like a shot with the obligatory tangle of bikes just infront of me which I managed to avoid but which meant a harder sprint down the road into the start loop where everyone bailed in at once and it was all argy bargy and elbows everywhere. Things started to spread out a bit after Dixon's Hollow and I could always see Cait Elliott just up ahead. Pace-wise I was struggling with the grassy sections around the feed zone and the climb out of Medusa's, although I managed to hold my position up the really steep twisty climb out of Worry Gill. So I could handle the steep stuff but for some reason couldn't keep my legs going for the other sections, the bike was feeling dead or maybe it was my legs! On the second lap between feeling a bit off after the climb and somewhat distracted by the argy bargy behind me I came a cropper on a technical descent around some rocks and went over the handlbars with a heavy thud, my right knee hitting a large dressed trail stone. After getting ridden over by upcoming riders I brushed myself off and headed on down the trail, but something wasnt right - my knee swoll up like a balloon and every time I shifted my gears my hand gave out to me. The next two laps were mentally and physically hard, just trying to keep going, little did I know at the time but I had broken my wrist and given my knee a serious case of bursitis, so whether it was a culmination of tiredness and being banged up I was finally pulled at the end of the 4th lap under the 80% rule just behind Cait, not great but to be honest I wasnt complaining either.
After the race we spent some time watching the men's race and doing some promo work for Bike Pure - an Irish based clean cycling organisation which has some great professional rider supp