This weekend I was privileged enough to be able to attend the 2nd “Team VeloCake” CycloCross race where the boys excelled in their full team colours!
As self appointed “Directeur sportif” I had a number of important duties. These being: team Photographer, chief Cow Bell ringer and provider of positive encouragement - via a lovingly-handcrafted VeloCake placard and, of course, the obligatory heckling.
My photography duties kept me quite busy, but I obviously didn’t look busy enough as I was constantly plagued by a lady who could have talked the hind legs off a Shire Horse! Within 2 minutes I knew her son’s name, occupation and location, I knew her own marital status and current living situation… in fact I even knew her son's girlfriend's brother's name! Also I am not quite sure what gave her the impression that I know a lot about bikes but she kept asking me all sorts of technical and race related questions.
Unfortunately, the photography and the distraction of said lady meant most of my time was monopolised and I didn’t find the opportunity to wave a painstakingly crafted placard that I had enthusiastically made earlier that day - just for the sheer embarrassment factor it would have caused Mikey and John if I’d of waved it.
Regrettably, I also didn’t get the chance to ring the Cow Bell. Although, I guess, as I was always in close proximity to the finish line, it may have caused a little confusion if I’d have rung it and possibly resulted in a lot of perplexed riders glaring at me or even throwing their bikes at me.
Really could have done with an extra pair of hands to help fulfil all these duties - as cameras, banners and bells proved to be a bit much too much for this excited race spectator. We had expected a higher volume of VeloCake "Groupies" but sadly they all had their own reasons to cry off and the boys only had me to cheer them on.
Anyhow, it was a lovely day for a race. The sun was shining behind some clouds - but it didn’t feel cold. In fact, I felt a little over-dressed with several base-layers, a fleece and a jacket. (I had even thrown my hat and gloves in the car – expecting the worst as it's usually cold up on them there Moors!)
As for the course it had plenty of the usual zigzagging up and down around a football pitch, but it was enhanced with quite tricky off-camber rooty singletrack through the trees, steep nadgerey descents and short slippy climbs. There was also a traditional shoulder-the-bike and clamber up a muddy hillside section to maintain their focus.
The race unfolded in a typical manner with all the fast lot sprinting off and our brave VeloCakers bringing up behind. John started off near the front of the field but as the laps continued Mikey had made up ground and had him in his sights – until whoosh – team rivalry kicked in and they raced to the finish (in the last third of the race)!
Sadly, they didn’t win (although of course in my eyes they did)! But they could take comfort in knowing that they didn’t really stand a chance with the likes of professional riders, including some bloke from Sport Beans. They also took comfort in lapping the only female rider in the bunch – that is until I pointed out that she had a technical failure on the 2nd lap so lost a whole lap to that. Hey, at least they weren’t last and I for one was proud of their achievements.
If this link works you should be able to access the official Bodmin results from here…