Team BikeRadar Donny on the first round of the NPS at Ae Forest, Scotland

Going into the first big race of the year is always a bit of a nerve-wracking time. You may feel fast but you don’t know how fast you are compare to the rest.

Going into the first big race of the year is always a bit of a nerve-wracking time. You may feel fast but you don’t know how fast you are compare to the rest.

I have been feeling good on my bike the last few weeks and I was looking forward to getting back on it. The track at Ae forest was wet, boggy and generally pretty nasty. It would definitely show who was riding well and training hard. Practice was a very muddy affair, but I felt good, the ruts were massive and some parts I didn’t even have a favourite line, I would just go where looked best as I hit it.

I got through practice well and was starting to feel fast but I knew it was one of those races that would be almost impossible to get through without a few mistakes.

That is pretty much how it went in the final for me, the top section was really good and I felt strong but coming into the last woods I messed up the first of a few turns and I sucked through all 3 of them.

Pretty disappointing to lose loads of time so close to the finish.

I dropped into the finish arena and straight into the hot seat- knocking Brendan Fairclough out of the lead. I knew it wasn’t gonna be good enough to win so I didn’t get too comfortable in the hot seat!

In the end I finished 5th which isn’t too bad, I was happy with that. I generally start the year off steady and get faster as I go, so if I improve on that it can’t be too bad. Gee [Atherton] (Who took the win) is in really good form at the moment as are his siblings-especially Rach [Rachel Atherton] who destroyed the rest of the field and embarrassed all but 29 of the 280 men.

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