23/03/2015 - Cotic Steel City Media Racing First Elite Podium

chay podium welsh enduro 1

Chay was off racing his second race of the season yesterday, the Welsh Enduro Series Round 1. And he only bloody came second! It's his (and our) first Elite podium in Enduro and we couldn't be happier. Awesome effort Chay!!

Here's Chay's thoughts from the weekend.

Chay writes.....

First round of the Welsh Enduro Series is here and I thought Iíd have a go.

Itís based at Coed y Brenin trail centre in North Wales, which if you havenít been is a beautiful part of the world. It's a few miles up the road from Barmouth where a walk on the beach with a ice cream never hurt anyone!!! (this is why you should always go to races a day early)

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Anyway, so itís a 1 day event with practice in the morning and then your timed stages in the afternoon, we have 3 stages the first traversing across the hill side on a nice flowing singletrack, the killer part being two little techy uphillís half way through. The key seemed to be maintaining a good speed the whole way and not just sprinting the first 100m then blowing outta your back door for the rest of it. I normally run flat peddles but to keep my pedal on I opted for spds so I could keep it spinning.

There is no timed transitions at these events so a gentle ride/walk with the boys gets us up to the top of Stage 2 where its fair to say ďthat view were grand ladĒ.

This one has a little tech 30 seconds in some trail centre stuff then what seemed miles down a fire road; it's not far but spinning all the way down it really hurts! You're then into a spot of fresh cut that was ace, and finally you join Snap, Crackle and Pop as its named to end the stage.

So thatís twice in two stages I'm on my knees trying not to be sick. Was it to many jelly babies before I set off or that fact Iíve pedaled like my life depended on it? Iím not sure.

Coedy is real rocky and punctures are a real threat. Iíve got my tyres pumped up pretty hard despite running tubeless, hoping to avoid any flats. This makes it a night mare on the wet corners but thatís outweighed by the super-fast rolling on the long flowy trails. The 29er was deffo at home here in wales where flow and carrying speed is key.

I'm dreading Stage 3 as its between 7-10 mins long and that kinda race used to be called an xc race when I were a lad, so Iím kinda thinking donít go guns a blazin' and have some dignity at the end.

That kinda worked but the fire road in the middle is enough to make anyone feel ill, however I was still able to push on and not look like a wet lettuce in the bottom switch back part. It's amazing how you can still stand up when you see a camera man watching you. That said Iím still on my knees when Iím done which must be a sign Iíve done some graft.

The timing at these races is the same as PMBA and is done instantly you arrive back. You hand in the transponder and they print out a receipt that tells you the current position youíre in. Thatís bitter/sweet as when it says I'm currently 1st, things can only get worse and my stress levels seem to rocket!

So their all in and counted and somehow I'm 2nd Elite and 3rd overall out of apparently 240ish riders. That will do lad, that will do.

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Crackin event, crackin folk, crackin weather and a crackin result. What more can you ask for? Well, that ice cream in the sunshine on the beach was damn good too.

Massive thanks to Cotic for backing me in this 3rd yr of racing for them and roll on more weekend like that one.