"A day to forget in many ways but one that will be impossible to forget for other reasons!"
It was my first time racing in Dornbirn, Austria so I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the course. The forecast for the whole weekend was for persistent rain and that’s exactly what we got. With Covid-19 restrictions in place there was very limited time for course practice but I managed to get a few laps in the evening before the race and WOW, what a mud bath! I’d never experienced anything quite like it before and perhaps I never will again. There was a good 6 inches of mud covering the entire course and although it was great fun to ride in I knew it was going to be extremely challenging conditions to race in the following afternoon. It was unquestionably a course for XR Mud tyres and I dropped the pressures to 16.5psi in the front and 17.5psi rear to give me some added grip.
I had a good start and was riding with the leaders for the first couple of laps feeling strong. It was amazing how much easier the course was on the first lap or so compared to yesterday evening in practice due to the torrential rain the morning of the race that had helped to keep the mud nice and thin. Unfortunately the rain had stopped just before our race started and after a couple of laps the mud was starting to get thick and greasy and clogging up my drivetrain. I started to develop some major gear skipping issues that were giving me a hard time but my problems soon got worse when I managed to come down heavily on my seat and snap my seat post on the descent just after the feed/ tech zone. This meant I had to ride almost a full lap without a saddle and then to really put the nail in the coffin I lost my chain on almost the same spot on the very next lap and had to run for a few kilometres.