Closer to home, 2012 was also a pretty memorable year in the Pedder-Fenton household. In the last 12 months, we've done more international racing in Europe than ever before, and both feel like we've taken a step forward in our racing since the season started way back in March. The first race of the year was the first round of the Southern XC series in Checkendon, on a day that reminded everyone present that March doesn't necessarily mean that spring has arrived. My first XC race of the year proved a shock to the system, and i was slightly disappointed to end up so far back, but it was great to finally get hold of my new Trek 9.9ssl that i would be racing for the season.
|Obligatory March photo of new bike...|
|The Roc Laissagais, apparently a year makes you forget, so we've already done it again since this photo was taken!|
|Podium fondle from Jane Nuessli.|
June was spent discovering how much more i could hurt myself outdoors, spending the lighter evenings doing my training sessions around the dizzying inner circle in Regents Park, and catching up with old friends and making new ones (a memorable weekend in Shropshire involved riding with old friend Hamish, and Isla Rowntree and Louise Robinson who Rachel had invited via twitter!). We also nearly drowned at a round of the Southwest XC series at the Forest of Dean, but that's another story!
The last round of the Southern XC series saw me get my best ever finish in an Expert race in 5th place, and Rachel win the Elite series overall. The rain apparently fell lightly on the course, just to ensure that no XC race in the UK was totally dry for us.
July was all about the Transalp for me and partner Nick Herlihy. We headed off to Oberammergau via Munich to start the race, and were met with three straight days of rain and cold, including a climb over 2800m as light snow fell. And yet somehow, the sun coming out and the route getting harder still didn't put us off, although i have to admit things did look a little grim when Nick ended up in the medical tent at the end of stage 6. Only a bog trot through a muggy swamp, a night in a car park and a thunderstorm at 2000m lay between us and the finish at Riva del Garda, where we celebrated our survival with ice cream and new (and not so new) friends before heading back to the real world. Poor Nick started his new job as a physio unable to work due to severe pain in his hip from a crash, and i went back to climbing the five flights of stairs in my building looking even more like an octogenarian.
|Proper mountains. Unfamiliar territory...|
|Concentrating a bit too much on the champagne pop...|
|I even had time to think "this is amazing" during the race...|
So that was it. A year of racing. Too much money spent. Too little training done. Many many wonderful memories of beautiful places with good folk. Funny that we should be doing it all again in 2013...