Race report from supported rider Toby Barnes

Last Sunday was the second round of the National series at Irvine, Scotland.  After crashing on a training ride 2 days after the Derby National Trophy and having to spend 3 nights in hospital, I had about 3 weeks without any proper training so wasn’t expecting great things at Irvine.  After riding the course on Saturday I knew it was going to be a hard, fast race, probably in groups.

It was very dry so wasn’t too technical but had a couple of short sandpits, some steep climbs and a long drag before a steep descent.  I was gridded 2nd row and had a good start, in the top 10 by the first sandpit.  I then settled into a group of about 7 riders racing for 3rd overall. 1 rider attacked and got a bit of a gap but never got too far ahead and the gap was staying constant.  I was struggling to stay with the group but kept moving up when I could to try and make sure I wasn’t at the back of it.  Eventually my legs just couldn’t keep with the pace so I dropped off and was with one other rider. I then attacked him with 3 laps to go meaning I was on my own in 8th.  The gap to the group ahead didn’t really change much but I wasn’t quite able to bridge back across.  I finished the race as 8th elite and 3rd u23.

After not having any good training in my legs since the first round at Derby I’m very happy with this result as it was my first u23 National podium.  Because it was half term we stayed an extra night and were able to practice some sand riding skills on Irvine beach on Monday.