Last week Jim and I made our annual trip to Murcia in Spain for the Trofeo Costa Calida, this time centred on Cehegin which is about 1.5 hours drive from my parents house. There is an informal “model event” on the Friday which we pootered round getting the feel of the map drawn by Czech Republic mappers. I was also testing out my new contact lenses, obtained just before we left home, and they seemed OK. (I keep tripping on things running wearing my glasses !). The next day was Day 1 of the Trofeo and proved to be quite intricate. It was also a WRE so there was a good contingent from Europe there. I took a safe route to the first control then totally messed up in the circle, then compounded matters by leaving the control in the wrong direction. I lost at least 6 minutes but still managed to win by a safe margin of 15 minutes. Jim had a safe round in 8th place, beating the 2009 M60 winner by several minutes.
On Saturday evening there was sprint-o among the many narrow streets and alleyways of the old town. This was based right outside our hotel, (which was a slight nuisance because the roads were closed off so we had to leave the car at the bottom of the hill and walk up) but it was good to watch and we obtained a map as a souvenir.
Day 2 is a chasing start and with a healthy lead my plan was for a steady round, pity the plan didn’t entirely work. Another two big errors among scrubby re-entrants and I finished 3rd on the day, but luckily still with a 16 minute lead after the 2nd placed on Day 1 had a bad run too. Jim finished 8th again, interestingly neither of the M60 day winners made the podium because they made huge errors on the other day. The weather, which had been damp while we were competing, turned sunny and dry for the prizegiving so we enjoyed the ambiance in the car park. We took the scenic route back to the coast via miles upon miles of almond trees in blossom. Nice.