Race report – Steve Day takes solo win at Mountain Mayhem
It’s turning out to be quite a year, with winning Mayhem the most recent massive high for me.
Unlike last year I was way less nervous in the run-up because of the win in NZ, but the inevitable “are you going to win” questions on Friday never help, likewise the warning that Pivot had a chap that was going to make me work for it kicked off the jitters a little. However, at least this year I managed to make it over to the main arena on Saturday to absorb some of the vibes – it was great to see how busy it was and the buzz that there was. As always its a good time to catch up with friends not seen for a while and share a couple of drinks on Friday night.
Race time soon came around though and the line up under the arch gave me a chance to say hello to that chap from Pivot – Richard Penning. Its always good that the start is so relaxed with people happy to talk & laugh. It was great to see Matt Carr back and looking like he also meant business.
Not having done a lap on Friday (cos I didn’t want to get my bike dirty!) meant my first lap was my sighting lap and I was looking forward to the new bits. I was surprised how well the course had held up given the rain last week, but the sticky surface meant it was going to be a tough one. Likewise, 4 laps in, when Richard appeared next to me at the finish of the lap it meant I had to make sure I stayed focused.
Fortunately the rain held off as planned for the weekend and conditions stayed pretty consistent with some bits drying a little. My pit team were on top form with Ingrid, Erik, Beverley and Stu seeing to my every need and want as things progressed, keeping the coffee flowing in the early hours and the energy stuff topped up as needed. This allowed me to keep picking away each lap and over time open up a comfortable gap to Richard in second and Carwyn Davies in third that just needed maintaining.
I always find it so uplifting how much encouragement there is out on course too – from spectators, fellow soloists and team riders regardless of their pace. It’s always good to hear and helps keep you moving when things get tough in the early hours.
In the end I finished just over 2 laps up and seriously knackered – more so than after the race in NZ. But I am putting that down to the larger altitude gain and the sticky ground. The win at Mayhem also means as much to me as that win in NZ too. It was my 10th Mayhem solo, 5th time I’ve won the Nick Wallis trophy and the massive hug I got from Pat at the finish was the finishing touch.
A big thanks must go to Pat and the Mayhem team for another awesome event, my pit team and everyone who has helped me this year including e3coach.com, Singular Cycles, EDS Bikes, Fibrax, Exposure Lights, Repack, TORQ, Hope, Team JMC and Audi.
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