by Dave Gamble
I have been looking forward to my 2nd CX season since January when my first finished, and even though I have had virtually no practice, the first event up was the National Trophy at Westmoreland, so entered. Last year this was my first ever CX race and DNF’ed due to lack of skill and knowledge, so into the deep end again! I was hoping for better this year (to get round at least).
As oldies, we get first digs on the circuit and the weather was dryish and warm enough. Two practice laps went ok but a little concerned on one of the steep sharp downhills where I had to remount the bike just beforehand, I learned that missing my clip in meant all weight was on the wrong part of the body at the bottom of the hill…!
Due to covid we were spread out a little bit more than normal on the grid. I was gridded 49 out of 70 entrants (only 60 actually raced). Race started and had terrible clipping in issues so dropped a few places, but caught them up after a few corners to somewhere near my start position (lesson one, starting practice). The course was fantastic, had about 5 or 6 power ups (sprinting up steep hills), off the bike for 3 climbs and jumping over hurdles, so remounting technique was paramount. Did ok with my re-mounts except for one occasion (but didn’t fall over). Rode my own race, steadily took a few places and dropped the odd one but felt I was making some kind of progress. Happy to see the end of the race after 5 laps full gas and came in 41st out of 60. No champagne but proving I can do this stuff with loads of room for improvement (think I lost 1 minute with diabolical remounting, that would move up 10 places if/when fixed). Bike wasn’t messy at all, just grass. And then torrential rain came down and the following Saturday racers enjoyed a mud bath 🙂 Sunday seemed to dry up a bit for the elites.
The above photo is after 4 laps and very tired!
Of course loads of thanks to the organisers and sponsors who put on a superb event in compliance with COVID restrictions. A great day in a horrible year.
See the fun photos on the link below.
This Sunday, Bradford NoNonsense race if my back holds up