Molefre 2014 Rd 5 Midland Champs

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Molefre 2014 Rd 5 Midland Champs

Well this was it the final Borderline Event and sadly one of the last big races of the year which turned out to be an epic battle on every level.
Setting off early Saturday morning with mad Mick McRay we made our way swiftly towards Molefre via the famous golden arches for a heart stopping breakfast. Parking was a doddle as the field was almost empty, a quick change & we headed straight for the uplift. Thankfully there was no need to do one of our famous and meticulous track walks as we had already done so 2 weeks ago on a sneaky uplift day. We caught up with Ben and Kath Tilford who had also come down for the full weekend. Once at the top the breeze was somewhat noticeable and blowing the wrong way too, nether the less I put that to one side and put the power on the cranks to try and get up to speed. It was immediately obvious peddling was futile so a bit of aerodynamics had to come in to the equation, basically just rest your chin on the bars and look where you’re going. Picking up speed we had no sooner got going when Mick Rodeo Hill had pulled over with a puncture, so a gentle ride down from that point and back to the pits for repair and more psi. This process continued 3 times for some bizarre reason, although Molefre does have some ridiculously sharp rocks ready to shred both you and your tyres. 3 tubes later and a rim splitting 50psi we hit it again, by this point the track was drying out a bit and the speed was starting to pick up nicely, well that was until Mick turned his attention to smashing his rear mech off in one of his spectacular crashes. With Mick busy fixing, I went for another run and found myself back in the pits with a broken gear cable. With the day drawing to an end I was ready for calling it a day but mick insisted on a chainless last run which turned out to be completely uneventful for the first time that day. Thanks to a speedy uplift service and chief marshall Ben Tilford making everything run ever so smoothly we got all the practice we needed for the day. After a long day on the hills it was off to put our feet up at a local B&B for the night, fuelling ourselves up ready to attack race day.
Race day and let the battles commence. Driving up through fields trying to find our parking space from the day before, all eyes were on the lookout for the Yorkshires boys Rich Molloy, Liam McDermott and Mick Ward who decided they only needed to turn up on the Sunday. How very anti-social and to top it off they parked on another field creating a border between us Lancashire lads, never mind Mick Rodeo Hill had a master plan up his sleeve later that day. With Mick still needing to fix his steed from the day before, I got myself straight to the uplift, well that’s what team mates do isn’t it?? Reports where coming in from riders who had already come down the track that the relentless breeze from yesterday had turned into a storm force gale at the top, which didn’t fill me with enthusiasm in the slightest. Everyone jumped off the trailers, some were blown off! Everyone just piled into one big group all trying to find shelter from the insane wind. It was at this point I realised I was missing a bar end plug and without it unable to go down the track. Feeling like a proper mud muppet I raced back down the fire road to the car park to sort it. When I finally got on the track for the first practice run, the conditions where as expected with a side wind all the way down to the first corner, even thinking about lifting the wheels off the ground was crazy. With sheltered spots few and far between it was a constant battle against the elements pretty much to the finish. With the bike running as reliable as ever and thanks to a 450lb spring, taking care of the extra weight I’ve managed to somehow put on this year (fat fucker!!!!) it was down to me to do the rest of the work. On the 2nd practice run decisions had been made to bring the start further down the hill for safety reasons. Both happy with practice it was time to chill for a while. The start times where up and we all got our race faces on. With team mate Ben Tilford recovering from a nasty rib slamming crash at Farmer Johns the previous weekend, I was doing it on my own for the masters class. With the long wait over it was finally my time to rip it up. With the red light out I put every ounce of energy down on the pedals. With a successful start and no drama on the top section I came to the fast shoot down to the fire road descending like a pin ball all the way down, luckily I managed to pull it back in line before hitting the savage head wind along the traverse. With one or two sketchy moments of veering off the narrow single track it was down to the final quarter, this section was nail biting as I had lost it in a previous race once before on the final corners, but only this time crossing the finish line in 2nd place. Made up with that I tracked down the rest of the team to see how they had done. So far so good, with only Liam to come down the track all eyes were on him. When the first lot of results came in, it turned out me and Liam had a battle on our hands with me on a 2:04 and Liam on 2:05, the 2nd run would have to step up a notch. Whilst one battle was going on another was brewing in the bottom field with Mick Rodeo Hill kindly decorating Mr Molloy’s VW camper van, with the very fashionable Lancashire red rose beer mats!! Sadly Molly took a dislike to the upgrade and disposed of them immediately. Within this time the rain clouds had rolled in which meant times were going to be hard to match. At this point I was in the frame of mind of settling for 2nd place that was until the 3 trusty veterans’ came down from their 2nd run and demanded I get up the hill for my 2nd run as the wind had now calmed down up top. Sure enough things had improved but after the rain the track felt like I was riding on slicks. With another respectable run down I awaited the final time which due to technical difficulties only came in towards the end of the day, which turned out to be a fraction quicker, landing me 1st place but was it enough to beat Liam’s time ?? No is the answer with me on a 2:04.87 & Liam on 2:04.37 making it one of the closest races between us, he walked away with the crown this time. Well done to Cath for making the podium & doing it for the girls and Mr Rodeo for a very good effort with a narrow miss on the podium himself. Pedal harder the rest of you you know I’m only joking. So the final results for the weekend are as follows:
Rich Molly 14th2:40.22
Mick Ward 11th2:29.01
Mick Hill 5th 2:21.83
Cath Tilford 3rd 2:41.45
Liam McDermott 8th 2:04.37
Michael Coupe 1st 2:04.87
Ben Tilford DNS -excuse (sore ribs)