I really wasn’t expecting much at all from the Sea Otter XCO. In Friday’s Short Track I had been on the limit the whole race just to hang onto the chase group so for Saturdays XCO I set myself a more conservative goal of a top 5 finish. I focused on hanging in with the lead group for as long as possible and as the laps ticked by I was surprised to find myself still near the head of the race. With just 2 laps to go I found myself at the front with none other than current World and Olympic Champion Nino Schurter.
It was a tactical lead in to the finish line and I felt I got my timing right, but just ran out of gears on the high speed tarmac finish and he was able to come around me. Frustrating to have come so close and not have taken the win, but being up there with the very best rider in the world is a massive confidence boost heading into the first World Cup round in under 4 weeks time. Can’t wait! Was great also to see fellow Kiwi Sam take the win in the Short Track. 
(Photos by Mathew DeLorme)

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Cycling has always been a huge part of my life as I have been riding ever since I could walk. I see mountain biking as an adventure and a challenge.
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There are many things I love about mountain biking – the people you meet, the skills you need, the concentration it requires, race strategy, the opportunities to explore new places and countries.
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