The race was held up at the Cardrona ski resort which had only just recently been opened for mountain bike access. It was my first time up there so I was a little unsure what to expect. The ski resort was much bigger than I had imagined with plenty of accommodation, chairlifts and mountain bike tracks. Although there was sunshine and blue skies, our lofty 1,800m altitude along with a cold mountain breeze cancelled that out with temperature on race day being in the low teens. It was actually a lot better than the forecasted weather which predicted 2 degrees and rain in the morning!
During my warm up I must have incurred a slow leak on my rear tyre as when the race started I immediately noticed it had a very low pressure. I nursed it around the first lap, pushing hard up the climb to ensure I had enough of a lead before the rough and rocky descent back down to the start finish and the tech zone. I changed my rear wheel in the tech zone and exited onto the track in 4th position approximately 15 secs down on the leaders. I worked hard to quickly bring back the gap and re-establish my lead. I maintained a solid tempo through to the finish, eventually winning in close to 3mins. Overall I was very happy with how I rode. Looking forward to Nationals!