Dan made the 3.5 hour drive from Macclesfield (South East Manchester) to take the opportunity to ride in the Scottish series on the newly built Commonwealth games cross country course, that is also being used for the UK National championships in July.
The course is modern in that it is short at approx 5.5kms and totally man made, it has plenty of drops, berms and jumps including a dual slalom section and if you are very skilled some quite large jumps.
The surface is 100% gravel/stone so the racing was very fast and there was nowhere to rest.
Dan was using the race to collect points to help his starting position at the National championships and also to pre race the course for the same reason.
The start of Dan was fast and he took the lead almost straight away, taking 2 other guys with him, they held on for the first singletrack and downhill which was quite long.
On the climb it was very windy and he thought they might use him to block the wind so Dan slowed to a comfortable pace to get ready for an attack. That never happened so Dan pushed on over the top and began to form a gap. ( It looks like the scenario Micha used in Apeldoorn last weekend ;) )
Dan kept pushing and settled into a rhythm on the 2nd lap of the scheduled 5. He had no help at the feed zone so he had to keep stopping but his bottles were in a good position and it proved no problem. Talking about skills... :)
The wind however was very strong and with the number of drop offs it was quite testing not to get blown away when jumping off them. One time Dan had the feeling where he thought he might crash, doing a one footed landing and using another rider as a brake!
Dan managed to hold his rhythm for the remaining laps and win with a comfortable margin and gain maximum points.
The Scottish race scene proved again to be great scene and Dan left having a good race on a very Championship worthy track. Which will be an advantage for him in July at the Nationals !