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August 16th, 2023

2023 World Mountain Bike Championship, Glentress, Scotland

Ross Bell

I hadn’t had the best lead in to the World Championship but I was excited to get to Scotland nonetheless and rip into things.

First up was short track on Thursday evening, this time not counting towards the start positions for the XCO but as a World Championship event, so it was still important to put in a strong performance. I started on the second row but unfortunately the rider in front of me missed their pedal at the start and went backwards, taking me with them. I crossed the line at the end of the first lap in 31st position which gave me a huge amount of work to do over the remainder of the race.

I made positions up each lap, making contact with the back of the front group with just two laps to go as the fight for the medals was really heating up.

Ross Bell
Ross Bell

I brought it home for a strong 10th place but felt a little frustrated knowing there was definitely more to be had if I was a bit luckier with the start!

The XCO was my main target and I wanted to achieve another top 10 finish there. Starting from the 4th row this time made life a bit more difficult, and after coming through the first lap around 30th I set my sights on the riders in front.

Ross Bell
Ross Bell

I was able to pick riders off one by one and leapfrog a few groups to eventually make contact with a group of four riders heading into the last lap, fighting it out for 7th through 11th.

I got caught up behind the last rider in the group in a tight single-track climbing section as he was beginning to lose the wheel and had to push past him to try to stay with the others.

Ross Bell
Ross Bell

My shoe got caught up in their spokes ripping off my top boa/tensioner on my left shoe which made life difficult as my foot wanted to lift out of my shoe every pedal stroke. I stayed in the fight and managed to pass one more rider in a tight sprint finish to nab 10th spot and make it a satisfying day given the circumstances and challenges that presented themselves along the way.


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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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