For this race I was aiming to really push myself early on rather than pacing myself and perhaps having a bit more left for the last couple of laps. I really wanted to be mixing it up near the front of the field and I was after a strong result in my last race before the World Cups.
Right from the gun I went well, I really pushed the pace and kept attacking whenever I had the chance and had my best start of the trip so far coming through in 13th position. It was pleasing to be so far up the field as traditionally I have been very poor in the first lap. I was hurting but I just put the hammer down and kept driving the pace. I was determined to leave everything out on the race track today. The technical nature of the course favoured the full suspension and the Santa Cruz was in its element. I was able to charge on the downhill sections and gain time on my rivals.
I rode in 12th position for the majority of the race but 8 laps turned out to be a bit too much and coming into the last couple of laps I began to run out of steam. Grovelling through the 7th and 8th laps I unfortunately dropped several positions and ended up in 16th place. Still it was my best placing of the trip and a solid result to finish off the first block of racing.
Five races in consecutive weekends has been very full on but also an amazing experience. Racing such high quality events can only be a good thing and I have learnt so much. It will be good to have a bit of a break. We plan to head to France to see a couple of Tour de France stages and then build up to the World Cup races in Champery and Val di Sole at the end of July.