I made the same mistakes I made last time I did this race - too much air pressure in the tires, and not going hard enough on the uphill. That's what I get for not reviewing the past race reports. :) Also, I may just be worse than everybody else at adapting to the heat, at least based on my performance the next day and descending.
The course is really hard due to the recent heat wave, was expecting some sandiness, but not nearly as much as we had during cross season on the same courses, it was mostly super hard pack so at race speed was getting a lot of vibration transmitted through the tires.
This is the most gentle pace for a mountain bike race I have ever been in, need to change that next time!
On the last lap started slowly picking off riders, just ran out of uphill. One rider went down in front of me with about 2km to go and I thought I was going to get to use my newly acquired first aid certification but he didn't consent to care (he described a leg cramp so not much to do except maybe a massage) so just moved his bike off the trail and finished up.
After the race I felt really fresh, so that kind of discounts the heat having much effect, especially since we started at 9:00, stuck around for the 11:00 start but then by the heat started to kick in and I had to get in the shade.
D: 25.1 km
S: 20.6 kph