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British MTB Series Round 3, Margam Park.

Round 3 of the National Series was held at the classic MTB venue, Margam Park in South Wales. Arriving to practice the course on Friday we were greeted by scorching hot sunshine. The course had the usual mix of long tough climbs, fast bumpy singletrack decents, and some new technical sections which were still wet and slippy from torrential rain earlier in the week. Two laps were enough to warm up the legs and scare myself on the decents….. The decents at Margam are not necessarily described as technical, but riders push the speeds as high as possible, and if you do stray offline there are old mining holes and stone walls waiting to cause maximum carnage. Luckily I stayed on course, just! A relaxing coffee in the sunshine was great, before the trip home to clean my RXC Team Bike, check the tyres, and swap the riser bars for flats with bar ends. The Margam climbs didn’t seem quite right without bar ends to grab in anger.


Race Day: Even hotter weather! Arrived at the race and soon found Richie, posing in the arena with his latest pink Castelli hat and pink bar tape!!

A quality turn out for the Elite race meant it was flat out from the start, led by World Cup riders Oli Beckinsale and Liam Killeen. My first lap could have been alot better….. A rider stopped dead infront of me making me wish I hadn’t fitted those bar ends, nice gash to the knee and throbbing pain for the following 10mins, no pain no gain. By the end of the first lap I had managed to catch Richie and a group of riders gasping on the climb to the highest point of the course. From there I tried to settle into a good pace, sustainable in the heat on such a tough course, picking of riders each lap.


By the finish I was 21st, totally cooked, but satisfied to finish a tough race after recently suffering with a virus which had ruined my ablility to ride a bike really quick. Confident I can now build from here and put in some solid rides later this season. Another excellent race from organiser supremo Martyn Salt, can’t wait for the next round at Crow Hill!

I have a busy schedule of criteriums, Cotswold League road races, and mtb races during June, aiming to be firing on all cylinders by late June/July for the MTB Nationals……

Richie had a solid race to finish 31st, didn’t look too tired to me though, perhaps saving his legs for the 100Km Marathon Champs the next day. All he needed to do was stay off the wine, get some sleep, avoid dodgy Chicken Paninis, and stick to the recovery drinks………

Bye for now, Dunc (Team Felt Racing)

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