Star date: 9 November 2014
Location: Llandovery, Wales
Event: Cross Mountain 55km challenge
Weapon of choice: Geared 29er MTB
Result: 4th overall, 2nd veteran
The latest in a series of imaginative events from professional endurance racer Matt Page, Cross Mountain was designed to be equally well suited to cyclocross and mountain bikes, hence the name.
The weather gods had other ideas, however, November traditionally being monsoon season in Wales, and although the day itself was dry, the ground was wetter than a haddock's bathing costume. The cross riders were soon reaching for snorkles and even us MTBers frequently got bogged down and had to walk long sections.
Ultimately it was very like an MTB Marathon event: well organised, lots of scenic open moorland, nothing scary, just steady old-skool cross-country riding - thrill-seekers need not apply. That said, after all the rain, the first descent down to Myddfai was a rather kerrazy water slide and the final rocky descent off the moor was pretty wild in places with a very wet sting in the tail. Against expectations, I enjoyed it.
And for once I had a perfect race. I had my best result of the year, beating some very quick riders, and absolutely nothing went wrong. Which leaves me rather short of a story...
Luckily this guy stepped into the breach and took one for the team. Read it and weep:
The first five: