10 October 2016

2016 Arctic Cross season - this one went really well

With the end of our Arctic Cross season, just as the lower 48 gears up for theirs I am glad to write that mine was a great success.
This years Arctic Cross courses have been really really great, if not the greatest. The last four races each adding on the previous race's greatness. Thanks Arctic Cross for all that you do, mini barriers are a great addition.

For me personally with the way the competition is up here I don't expect to win or even podium however I am glad to say I managed to make a few top tens this year and was battling for 7th place at more than one race. This is a huge improvement over the previous years.

To quote Greg LeMond - "It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster." which could sum up this seasons racing for me.
I am fitter than last year, my technique is better (although still has room for improvement), both of these factors mean I'm definitely faster than last year.  The thing is, so are guys I am racing against.

The battles each race between, Clint, Chris, Erik, Jared and Ryan have been fantastic fun and we have all been so close to each other all season.
Me, Ryan and Clint battling for 7th place at this time -
Photo Credit Patrick McGownd
A huge thanks at this point must go out to, Megan, Mara, Amber and Bria who enabled me to go out and race these events when Amanda was working. Thanks ladies for all the assistance, Amanda and I really appreciate it.  

Race positions 

Race #1 - 11th Place. Due to not checking tyre pressure I fought from the back of the field after stopping on lap one to put air into my tyre. - lesson learnt pump up tyres and have a pump in the pit.

Race #2 - 10th Place. Girdwood hill climb, this was my least favourite event and the only one where I was lapped.... I was lapped twice, much respect out to Will and Josh who lapped the whole field.

Race #3 - Didn't race as I was working, I did hear that this course was much better than the previous day's course though.

Race #4 - 10th place, my mountain biking skills got me through where some others were struggling the grass fields crushed me, there was a lot of grass fields :-)

Race #5 - 10th Place. I had a really good race here, battling with a strong group of guys for most of the race.  Probably went out a little to early but loved every minute of it.

Race #6 - 11th Place. Through lap one and two my legs felt great, I had nothing when Chris said to me we should pick up the pace and split the group.

Race #7 - 10th Place. Without a doubt my best race start ever, should have changed lines sooner on the sand and kicked harder to catch Clint who I thought would have faded on his last lap. Well done Clint, Jared and Chris who picked up the pace a little at the end.

So that was my season - I finished 12th overall
Full season points here (to be updated)

So what else?

Well even more important than me, is the fact that Fiona has finally started to enjoy riding again. She decided to ride the last four kiddo cross races. There may be a plus bike coming from Santa if she continues at this rate. 
Fiona crushing the last Cross course... 

And finally 

The Blades family Anchorage have added another member to the family. 
Everyone meet Mort. He is named after the Terry Pratchett character. At this early stage we can safely say he likes to sleep, almost gets on with the cat (they tolerate each other) and he likes to bark at other dogs.  We are all super excited to see what other character traits come out. I am really hoping I can train him to be an awesome trail dog :-)

Mort the little dog who thinks he is a big dog. 

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