Right, first real race of 2011 is this weekend. So, whats the story?
Well, the first this is I'll be riding for Team Cycle Inn / KTM in 2011. This team is Rob Tobin's and Mick Jordan's baby and I was delighted to be asked to join them. Super savages Oisin Boydell and Kevin Stanley will also be in the team colours. We will be riding KTM Myroon Prime X0's for the first half of the race season and then switching to the Myroon Prestige XTR-2's. Unfortunately for tomorrows first race I'll be on the trusty (and rusty and heavy!) old Cube Reaction as the X0 is on a container ship in the North Sea still. Should have it early next week tho - can't wait!
On top of KTM, we have lots of other sponsors on board:
- Catlike will be providing our Helmets and shades...
- Continental will be providing now prototype Speedking tyres
- High5 will be fueling us for the races
- And after a mucky race day Piranha bike products will be used to clean up our bikes!
And on that note, I've been training quite a bit, but over the past couple of weeks I've been feeling a little run down. Its been busy in work and I've a very active 18 month son who is intent on heading off down the road at any opportunity! So I've laid off the planned training and just been out enjoying biking on the road and off. Its not ideal preparation for race season, but my goals for the year are after June so I'm happy to use the NPS as training.
So what are the goals?
NPS - no goals here at all as I'll be racing the countries top riders and I ain't :). I guess I'll be using it as training and having a bit of craic.
I'd like to podium in the NPS champs. I got lucky last year getting 4th, so in some ways that result would be great again. Short course mountain bike racing is not my forte :)
Bontrager 24/12... myself and Oisin are doing the 12 hour pairs again and it would be amazing to go one better than last year and win it!
The Bull Raid, I won't be defending the 12 hour solo race title as me and Oisin will be racing the pairs. It'll be a tough one, but I'm hoping for the best here.
The Cooley Thriller - gutted I had the mechanical last year. This year I'll be racing it in S1 category (most likely) so a top 5(ish) would be nice.
The Marathon Champs - I'd be lying if I said I did not want to win this one again :)
There will be a few marathon races I'm still thinking of doing in the UK also, but I will see how I'm fixed time and funds wise. There's a couple of multi-stage mountain bike races in Ireland also this year I'm thinking about. Plus I'll stick in the very odd road race also if I get a chance.
So thats it - bring it on!!!