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Race Review

Nov 14 / 2011

Richards views on Tai Lam AA XC MTB Classic

Cosmo Richards - Chiru Endurance Asia team - post story on Tai Lam bike race

AA XC MTB Classic 30km..

Nov 13, 2011

The race sean was set it was a beautiful day, maybe a tad warm for this time of year - 28 deg but dry and sunny with a breeze for the 2 lap Tai Lam course. The course is quite a short race for me with about the first third on a undulating catchment road which meant it was going to start with a bit of a cardio fest.

Which is what happened on the second climb about 7 minutes into the race I let the lead group of about 10 riders go to fast for me at the start. Once on the trail I didn't panic and set about gradual picking them of one by one. The level of riding was impressive with all of the top 10 and probably more riding everything well and on the edge these guys new the course so well. By the end of  the first lap I was in 5th with 4th and 3rd insight.

I managed to catch them about half way around the road section with both looking a bit tired although once passed they  were both happy to sit on my wheel not wanting to do any pulling so it was a bit of a race to see who would get to the trail first with some very high speed cornering with all three bikes trying to get around the corners together very on the edge. I managed to just make it to the trail first with the two guys right behind. Then it was time to get the legs spinning, get in the trail groove and get a gap on these guys. It took a while but I managed to open about a minute gap. Then around a corner trying to put my drink bottle back I hit a bump and dropped it, it shot straight off the trail and down the cliff I stop for a second and realized that I wasn't going to find it in a hurry. Arh oh well 30 minutes to go I should get away with it.

I then tried to keep pushing and to ride smoothly through all the turns, not make any mistakes. At this stage I started to catch up to the back markers which always makes it interesting but to there credit they did a great job of clearing the trail. Next I caught a Glimpse of second place and managed to catch up on some stairs he realized he was been caught and really pushed hard it was great racing it took me about 5 minutes to finally get passed him. Whoa I was now in second place with about 10 minutes left of racing.

I had pushed pretty hard to get passed and into second so I tried to be steady and not make any mistakes as a was starting to get tired and I hadn't had any water for a while. I  would have loved a drink, Arh stupid water bottle.

Passing some riders they said that I was second and that first was only a minute ahead so I tried to give it one last push to catch up.  Towards the end I caught a glimpse of the first place but couldn't catch him in time. He finished 25 seconds in front setting a new Course record I was about equal to the last one. Then came 3rd to 5th all within a few minutes the racing was that close for the top 5 one small mistake etc was all it took to separate the top 5.

The closest finish I've ever had in a Mountain bike race which makes it all the more exciting. It was a really well organized and a great event I only wish Action Asia did more Mountain bike racers. Although I know that the AFCD are the ones which make it really hard by not giving permission to use the trails etc for races.

Cosmo Richards

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