National Trophy Round 4

Race report from supported rider Toby Barnes T1


T3Yesterday I competed in round 4 of the National Trophy series at Cyclopark, Kent. It was completely different to Shrewsbury, very dry and fast as opposed to the mud at the last round. There were off camber banks, steps, hurdles, tight corners, a very steep climb and a small sand section. After going to look at the course on Saturday I was really looking forward to racing on it the following day believing it would suit me. in practice the course was dry in most places but getting more slippery as it went on. I decided to try to bunny hop the 40cm hurdles, as I had practiced this in the week before the race. I could do it and was confident for the race. I got a good start but didn’t want to be leading because there was about 800m of tarmac to start. I was in the top 3 after this and following round the first few corners and banks. I then moved into the lead coming up to the hurdles so I could have a clear run at them.. I jumped them and got a slight gap with another rider. Then I pushed on really hard up the steep bank and rode the next off camber section really well and we had a couple of seconds advantage. I then got a puncture just after passing the pits so had to ride half a lap, with many tight corners, on a completely flat tyre whilst just about holding the wheel of the leader. When we got to the straight I dropped back into about 6th because it was really hard going with a lot of extra resistance from the flat tyre.. I changed bike and was still in with a chance of catching back up to the leaders as I felt really good. Just after I came past the pits again I noticed I had another flat tyre so had to ride the same part of the course slowly like the last lap. I had lost too much time and went down to 9th by the time I could change bike again. I kept chasing hard but wasn’t gaining much time as the 3rd bike I used didn’t fit me particularly well and the efforts used in chasing on flat tyres was taking its toll. I finished 9th and was very disappointed as I had really good legs and the course suited me well. I can take positives from this race, hopping full height hurdles for the first time in a race, feeling really good and riding the technical sections well. Hopefully I’ll have some better luck at Bradford in 2 weeks time for round 5. Thanks to Emile for the photos.

Toby Barnes

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