An excited and raring to go, Harry Rayner-Lovejoy, TMC's newest rider was taking to his first race of 2019... Windhill & B1ke's - Turkey Burner!
A full week of racing prep was planned for Harry; picking up the bike after tuning by team manager Dave earlier last week, Saturday night was spent sorting all the kit and loading the van for an early 6am start come race day! Excited to race the event, racing for the first time in 2019 and to be racing in a new category - Youth Cat which is a step up not only in age groups but also ability and rider skill.
Arriving early, still with minimal day light - Harry signed on and got set up for practice, alongside Dad and pit chief Greg, happy with the runs early on saying "Second after my last practice run had me confident heading into the timed runs". Although Harry described the external factors of weather a slight concern even saying; "Eating, sitting in the van and his coat wasn't helping to keep him warm" which was made worse whilst waiting for his timed runs where he was getting "colder and colder - by the time I was on, I could hardly feel the brake levers".
3/4 way down the first timed run, Harry crashed - unable to complete course due to being forced over the bars and hurting his back. After taking sometime out and resting up by 1:30 it was time for his second timed lap - he made the brave choice to go for it, he could have sat back and taken the experience lessons from the weekend but he decided to take on the course for his second run - although feeling "nervous and wanting to be cautious" he rode the corse and finished it setting a time of 1:09.321 - which left him just off the pace by 10s (rounded down) and finishing in 8th position.
(Top 10 table - 36 total riders - information taken from www.rootsandrain.com)
We spoke with Harry and he explained overall he was disappointed with the result but took the positives; he wasn't far off the pace even after taking a crash and riding with an injury, the fact it is a new class - a new level of riders to compete with and the fact he was riding cold... We are really proud of Harry, it's great to support riders who have the drive and determination to not let barriers stop them & to overcome them. Harry is a really strong young rider and we have high hopes to help him along and to realise his potential in this sport - looking forward to the next race Harry!