So a couple of weekends ago the PNP series came to an end at the local trail park of Makara Peak. The course consisted of two big laps and a finishing loop. This had us climbing up a (usual) descent trail, North Face and Smokin' pretty much off the line, this was a good 15min (and then some) climb. The weather was stunning, which meant for the poor pom overheating was a real issue, especially with North Face being open and out of the wind. However, for the first lap I entered North Face in third wheel and followed Alex Revell up as he was my target. Ed Crossling on his singlespeed was a wheel back and remaining strong. Come the top I had made it up to first wheel and entered Aratiti as the trail blazer; which resulted in me riding head first into a poor woman coming the other way round a blind corner. Thankfully we were both ok, it did knock my focus a bit though.
Up the next short climb on firetrack up to the top of Nikau Valley Ed stomped past only for him to stack on Nikau and for me to retake the lead. On the exit though Dave (Holden McGroin) on his Niner marched past me with strength that I could not match. Alex did the same just before the entrance to Ridgeline Extension, only for him to wash out on the tight left hander taking us back up North Face and into lap two. However I mucked up up there and allowed him past. I was suffering by this stage and couldn't (wouldn't) follow him up here. I rode hard but never looked like catching the leading two or getting caught by anyone, so was stuck in limbo.
When I finally crested North Face for the third and final time I just had the descent of Vertigo (nervous steep technical trail) to go. When I came out of this (with one tired mistake and subsequent dab) I was suprised to meet Alex coming from the wrong direction into AMP. He had obviously taken a wrong turn and had gone from a comfortable lead to 3rd. I let him past as he was riding strong and on a mission, but held his wheel only to get beaten at the sprint finish; 34T single ring spin out for me whilst Alex stomped his 42T big ring...
This earned me a happy and hot third in the race and joint 2nd (but as I had lost out on the day I got the trophy for 3rd) overall, matching Alex for points.
Katy came along to this race and really enjoyed it; there was a good spot to watch and good people to talk to. All the PNP races have been great fun and with a great crowd. It makes all the difference.