With World Champs fast approaching the final round in the Racer Bikes Cup series would serve as a great last hit out before the big one on the third of September. It was also my last weekend in Switzerland after almost three months of training and racing.
Luckily for us the wet and cold weather that we had experienced in our last couple of weeks was put on hold, as summer made one last effort and treated us to brilliant weather for our final days in the Country. Arriving in Basel we were surprised to find the track was quite close to the main City and it seemed to be a very unlikely venue for a Mountain Bike race. There wasn’t really much to the track either. It was predominantly flat with very little in the way of single track. The main highlight was a small but fairly steep climb followed by a fast descent and apart from a small section in the main start finish area the rest was open & flat. Despite this it was a good race venue as it allowed a lot of people to come and watch. The start finish area was in a horse race track with a grandstand and there was a good atmosphere with the main start loop and finish line on the horse track and a few twists and turns with a couple of jumps to keep the spectators happy in the middle. The start list was very strong with the race being the last in Europe before all the top riders headed to North America for the final World Cup in New York and then Worlds in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada.
The race itself was very frustrating as it turned out to be a bit like a road race with big groups forming and a lot of mucking around with no one wanting to drive the pace. I perhaps made the mistake of pushing a bit too hard early on and through the middle of the race. I was strong up the climb and would attack there every lap, trying to get further up in the race but would get run down by the big bunch of riders that had formed mid field and then the speed would slow right down again as no one wanted to set the pace, with a group of riders sitting on their wheel. Eventually I did manage to get a bit of a gap but by then I had run out of gas and was slowly reeled in over the last couple of laps dropping down to 27th.
I wasn’t very pleased with my result as I would have liked to have finished higher but it was very good training and perfect preparation for Worlds.