...Was the heckle of encouragement ringing out around a bog-like rugger ground in Ivybridge on Sunday.
Round 6 of the SouthWest cross series rolled into town and fittingly for Remembrance Sunday the field looked for every part like the Somme.
The last few rounds had spoilt us, they had been dry and on hard ground.
Oh how we joked before the race, about riding a proper winter cross race; freezing cold, up to your axles in mud and finish the race with a shit-eating grin. That's pretty much what we got.
The race started with an icy wind howling down from the surrounding hills of Dartmoor and there was only one spot on the course when it was a helpful tail wind. It had rained all week and absolutely pelted down on Saturday night, so it was wet, very wet and muddy. Have I mentioned it was wet?
More importantly, our numbers were up. With the arrival of Simon, there were three of us racing, and the p.v.c VC supporters club were there in full force as Alan joined us with his white Adidas trainers (r.i.p.)
As for the race, that all went as usual. The fast lot went off from the gun, VeloCake brought up the middle. At the end of the first lap I was hanging onto John's back wheel whilst Simon spent the first few laps staring at the back wheel of one the girls from the Shred team. He said it was her back wheel.
The next hour almost flew by, going up and down a playing field trying to find a drier line and keep the pedals rolling round. There was nowhere to coast, and nowhere to pin it as the mud just kept sucking. In every sense.
Thank heavens for the bell lap. John tucked in behind the leaders on their last lap and joined the train to the finish. I dipped a vet from Southfork racing for the line. Whilst Simon ruled the Ivybridge Air and Style contest by hucking massive air off the line and despite what he thought, was not D.F.L.
The latest SWCX league standings are out. In the Vets, VeloCake are at No.15 because of John, where as in the seniors, I am 22nd and a new entry straight in at number 58 pop pickers is Simon. Chapeau monsieur Barnes.