Xmas and New Year celebrations were over and it was time to get dirty at my home CX race on Todmorden Park. This is the third year that the race has been held there as the final round of the Yorkshire Points Series and organised by the one and only Chipps Chippendale of Singletrack Magazine.
On the run up to Xmas the park like the rest of the UK had be in a deep freeze with no chance of any good recce of the course due to the snow and ice but after Boxing Day the thaw came and on the day of the race there was no snow or ice to be seen.
The days racing got off to an early start with my two lads, Harry (8) and Toby(6), racing in the U12 race. The lads ride there bikes like most kids but not so much in the winter so this was a bit of a shock to the system but they were game. The field for the U12's race was so large that it had to be split into two races, U10 & U12. The race was 15mins round the park playing fields with a couple of tricky off camber bits and one get off and push for the kids, both the lads enjoyed it and did great considering the leaders were on proper kids cx bikes and they were on mtbs. Harry finished 19th and Toby 27th out of 46, i was a proud Dad and the lads where chuffed too.
Then it was Dads turn to ride his bike. The course was the same as the first year and included the 'Cobbles of Doom' which is a cobbled climb that is around 1 in 4 or 5. The Vets and Womens race had done a good job of cutting the course up nicely so clogged bikes was the order of the day. I had the loan of a lovely bike for the race from Chipps, his Ibis Hakkalugi carbon fibre thing with carbon wheels and tubs. I had no excuses now, the bike only weights 17.5lbs!! Below is a pic of me on the lovely machine taken by Bolty from Blazing Saddles in Hebden Bridge.
The Senior field was bigger than usual, having 53 riders. We all lined up on the football pitch for the usual sprint around the field to string everybody out. I got a flying start, not getting stuck behind anybody and as we got onto the course I was in about 15th. My first couple of laps were good but i could feel myself getting tired and the culprit were the 'Cobbles of Doom'. The cobbles were un-rideable unless you were one of the few top class riders, so each lap involved a 100m climb up slippy cobbles carrying the bike and this absolutely drained me. I just got my head down and rode as hard as i could but towards the end of the race I was broken and was having problems with a clogging bike. I noticed I had only been lapped by a hand full of riders during the race so was hopeful that I had managed a good ride, I had, 24th.
Here are the British Cycling results, videos showing a lap of the course and general write up for the event that was well organised and run, hats off to Chipps.