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Sarah Crellin - Race Report Round 6, Pearce

Sarah Crellin - Race Report Round 6, Pearce

Race Report for the Pearce Round 6

I had been looking forward to racing the last race of the season as this was going to be the first race me and my husband Chris has ever done together. Normally he is always left spectating, organising my admin within the pits! My parents also came along for the occasion as they wanted to watch us both race.

After finishing work at 13:00, it then involved a dash home to pack the van with all life?s necessities for the weekend ahead. I was super excited about the weekend of riding, regardless of the rather damp weather forecast for the Saturday! The last time I raced Hopton the track was epic, the track preview of this race looked equally as good, what makes the riding even better is the endless turn around of uplifts which Pearce cycles provide. On arrival we set up, took a walk up the track to check out the course and found a few lines to try on the Saturday morning.

Saturday morning consisted of getting up at an unsocial hour as usual to prepare for Saturday practice.? What made getting up even more difficult was the sound of the rain rebounding off of the van roof! After crawling out of bed and getting some breakfast we made our way up to the uplift to get some runs in. The track was running well considering it was so wet, unfortunately I had several 'cases' on the step downs & jumps at the end of the track which was rather frustrating. Although I became a victim of an off camber route drop corner which involved me landing on my face and winding myself. After kindly being picked up by army rider Az Grant I carried on to finish the run and resting for an hour before heading back up for a couple more runs. I done one final run accompanied by Amy and Emma for a chilled train together.

On to race day; I woke up early keen to check out the track and see how blown out the track was to see if any lines?needed?to be changed?on certain parts of the track. I was also keen to see if the run ins up to the jumps had dried out so I could actually clear them! Luckily I had managed to get two runs in on the morning before I got to my seeding run as my first run I had a flat tyre which was rather annoying!
Going in to the first race run I felt a little anxious to complete a run which didn?t involve a crash. My aim was to use this as a sighting run to see how much the track had tried out and aim to hit all of my lines and remain consistent and smooth, as in my previous run I had fell of in a corner.
The run was the best practise run I had managed to achieve all weekend. I was chuffed with myself for clearing the two step downs and final gap jumps at the bottom as I had been struggling with them on the Saturday. The large sender into a loamy left hander I had know hope at clearing so decided just to pump it.

On to race run?.
The plan of attack for race run was to hit my lines at the top wooded section smoother, be more consistent through the corners and to clear all of the jumps again.
After sitting in the sun for almost two hours I felt lethargic. Once at the top I noticed the Master men still hadn?t gone down for there second race run yet. I walked down to the first section of the course hoping that I would see Chris go down, although unfortunately I ha just missed him. Whilst watching the men go down I noticed how much drier it was getting and I was looking forward to completing my run.
Second race run ?
Out of the start and the first section to the first fly road was smooth and I felt comfortable. Well to cut a long story short, the whole run felt a hell of a lot better than my first run, until the inevitable happened and I come a cropper off of an off camber route drop corner. I lost the front end and went over the bars, resulting in me landing and sliding along on my head and shoulder. Once I had got up the marshall had taken my bike off of me and put it outside the tape. Where I then asked for my bike back so I could carry on to finish the run. Dashed and clambering back on my bike after straightening my seat and levelling off my mudguard I then continued and fell off on the next corner. After debriefing myself I then decided that I needed to go big or go home over the jumps to try and salvage getting some cool photos as this race run was not salvageable. I would love to say that I styled the jumps out with an awesome whip, however I am not capable of such things! Instead I just hucked them and jumped them the best I had all weekend. It felt awesome which was a small victory! At the finish I felt awful with my neck and left shoulder being rather sore. On the up side it is nothing serious and I am happy to be able to be in one piece to ride another day.
Even though this round ended up with me crashing I have taken a huge learning experience from it. I am very annoyed with myself for crashing but it is all part of racing. Overall the weekend was eventful but as usual I throroughly enjoyed it and happy to be on my bike. It was great to have such great company which makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

I was shocked that I was still in first by 10 seconds with not being able to improve my time. I am even more shocked to discover that I would have come second in elite. From just tagging onto the end of this season of racing due to returning from injury I am surprised with how far I have came and overwhelmed. I am really excited for next season which will be my first season in a downhill series. I am even more excited to be accompanied by fellow TMC riders.
None of this would have been possible without the continued support of my friends and family. A huge thank you to Mitchell cycles for the support and massive thank you to my team mates for the continued vote of confidence, training and belief in me.