The first round of the Scottish Cross Country Series was held just outside Forfar, with a course making fantastic use of woodland borders and disused quarry workings.
2013 had been a very wet and slow affair, making me a bit worried when it looked like the course was to be longer than last year. Thankfully conditions were dry and super fast, making for some nice fast sub-19 minute laps.
I got a decent start, following Rob Friel into the first singletrack. I let Gareth Montgomerie past on one of the early climbs, thinking there was no point in holding him up as he would likely ride away from me. I kept going steady, getting a good gap in the first lap to James Fraser Moodie. Sadly I tore a tyre on an embedded rock, so had to put a tube in. I was carrying my trusty pump, which although it is near-guaranteed to work better than an air canister, took several minutes to pump the tyre back up again. I lost about four and half minutes, dropping from third to sixth.
It took another lap to get back up to fourth, but I could see James about four minutes ahead on the twisty course, there was no chance of catching him in the remaining two laps. I rolled in for fourth, disappointed by the puncture but pleased with my early season form.
Thanks to the SXC and the chaps from Forfar for a great event. Full results can be found on MyLaps.