For the third year running, the National Trophy went to this rolling park on the western side of Ipswich, and my experiences there have been mixed. Thankfully, this was the best year for me and I’m in no doubt as to why; this year, we were given the gift of mud.
The course is so different in the slippy mud and although last year’s was slimey on much of the course, this year’s was a gloopy test on all of the course. Although I’m in no danger of rising up the ranks to take a surprise top ten or anything, I know what I like and what my riding style likes, and it’s brown, sticky and wet.
The course also had some interesting new features this year; a run-up with some makeshift steps (way too high each step but a nice thought!) and even a fancy bridge so the course could do a neat figure-eight in the paddock area.
I finished 23rd after a truly shocking start. The woods are a bit narrow and I was brought off on the first lap and then made my own errors panicking may way back up the field, meaning I was down in 35th or so after a lap. Once I settled in though, I started to make my way gradually past people and really enjoyed the course and the day out.
British Cycling’s report here.