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XC NPS, Round 2 – 28th April 2013

Brian in action at Ballinastoe earlier this year

Brian in action at Ballinastoe earlier this year

[Brian McElwee has been travelling the country and flying the Racing795 flag in the XC NPS series. Round 1 took place in Cong, Co Mayo a few weeks ago. Round 2 was in Killarney last weekend. Here’s Brian’s report.]

After badly tearing and then binning my rear tyre on Thursday eve’s training spin the only spare I had to hand was a trailraker mud plugger, picking up a new rear in time before the race was not an option so I had to take the gamble..If it rained a lot before Sunday I would be laughing (it is Killarney I thought..).

Got down Saturday eve and the weather was lovely with a great buzz about the place, some light drizzle Sunday morning but that cleared off quickly enough.

The race itself, got a great start and pulled up 5 places on the first lap with some stealthy passing on the climbs which I was delighted with but as soon as I reached the fast bits including the long field section again on the start/finish I lost them, felt like I had the brake on with the drag from the rear, back into the singletrack and I was holding my own with one of Richie Byrne’s big wheelers snapping at my heels, I thought if I can finish ahead of him I will be happy with that. He got past at the start of the 3rd lap on a tech bit but I kept reeling him back in on the climbs. I felt a second wind coming so it was game on, we came up behind another rider who dabbed in front of me on an uphill tech bit, I couldn’t get the feet out in time and ended up falling backwards down a gully with the bike buried in the sceachs, lost more places but then ripped it as hard as I could until the finish. I got one or two back but the big wheeler was well out of sight.

All in a very enjoyable race, I had hoped for a higher place but lots of tit for tat with a couple of lads made it, conditions were perfect with most the track just nice and tacky. Great little course and a well run set up, definitely will be back for that one.

Oh ya, the hotel… Celtic Tiger jobby with as much sound proofing as a tent, full of people on the piss, hen parties etc didn’t get to sleep till around 5 id say, pure disaster of a place, would have been better off just drive down Sunday morning! ah well.

I’ll re group for the next round with a new tyre, rear bearings and tougher training plan and hopefully I will pull up those few places I want.

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