If I tried to ride A grade in the local MTB races, I would finish dead last. I only finish mid-field in B grade as it is. I've learned that the best method of a higher placed finish is to smash the start and beat everyone to the single track so you can hold them up rather than vice versa (except everyone else has the same idea). The couple of minutes lost on the first lap pays you back in the end result!
has the new bike anything to do with it Tooms?
I don't think so, it's a lot heavier than I'm used to but is an exact geometry match (deliberate) for my Gary Fisher Marlin which I was always more comfortable on when technical. Nothing all that technical yesterday, but I was never feeling scared. Seat popper is kind of cool though with my stupid long legs and short torso.