Saturday, 31 December 2011

A season to look forward to

It's new year's eve. The tradition on new years is to take stock of the year, decide what has gone well and where you need to improve, and carry that enthusiasm for change into the coming year. But the truth is, i'm too excited about the year ahead to spend long looking back on the past 12 months. As a cursory nod to this most incontravertible tradition, however, i can give a month-by-month review of the year.

January - snow, move, cold, tired, no riding.
February - work, learn, learn more, still cold, ride a bit. Race - mud.
March - sudden warm, ride more, Race- mud, mechanical, Race2 - dry, fast, flat, boring. April - ride with new friends, race with old friends, discover Kemback
May - birthday, more riding, great weather, tanlines
June - Transgermany, crap weather, more riding, great views
July - Rain rain go away, more mechanicals
August - Lost for what to do
September - December: 3 Peaks, blurrrrrr...

Next Year poses something of a change for me, and for the XC community as a whole. The regionalisation of the NPS is a fantastic opportunity for the improvement of racing in the UK, but i suspect its implementation will be less than perfect, and realistically it could represent an initial step backwards for XC. This conveniently coincides with a shift of focus for Team AW as a whole, and also a certain level of, not boredom exactly, but lack of enthusiasm for XC for me. The coming season then will be built around other things. In the main they are: Gorrick Spring Series (these races i'm hoping will form the cornerstone of my early-season speed development - the quality of the Elite/Expert fields almost automatically designates me as an also-ran!), Crystal Palace Crit Series (they're amazingly close to home, and i've always wanted to be able to race crits for training and a bit of bunch-racing practice), CRC Marathon series (well the middle three that don't clash with other grander aims), and then selected other races.

These come mostly from my wishlist of races i have wanted to do for a long time, and in no particular order are:
Roc Lassagais - Part of the UCI Marathon Series in the Cevennes National Park
Stategg Marathon - Another UCI race, but based in Switzerland
Grand Raid Cristalp - depending on how work commitments work out, i really want to give this one a go next year
Kielder 100 - Has to be done again, it really bothered me missing it last year.

But it all kicks off tomorrow, the first race of 2012 is also on the first day - and probably the closest of the whole year too, as Rachel and I head over to Herne Hill to race the new year's day madison. From there, it's a slow, gradual build to April where my rather modest aim is to not be last....

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