For the first time since I were a lad, I rode to a cross race. Four miles along the redways of this town provided a good warm up which was needed as the Indian summer ended with a bang as the temperatures dropped and down came the rain. Proper cross weather and a it made a nice change from driving for 3 hours to a race.
I felt a little unprepared, no spare wheels, no bags of faff just riding what I brung.
The central league has a familiar yet different feel to others I've raced. The vets and womens field was big enough for its for it's own race, 49 riders in the 40-49, and there was another 20 or so in both the 50+ and the womans entries. Including the current V50 world champion.
I thought I'd take it steady, I wasn't expecting to do much in such a big field and besides, new league, new course, 1st race and so on.
The course really suited me, all up then down and the rain had made things really slippery. 20psi was spot on.
At the 1st climb I went passed about 15 riders, ok they were mainly more mamil than Veldrijdener but I got me thinking. I was really enjoying the modder, and passing loads, time to press on. Louise Mahe from MuleBar Girl team passed me and I tried to stick to her wheel as long as i could as hey, she's practically a pro, in all but salary.
I managed to stay up whilst others fell around me and I have scars from someone's chainring in my left calf, as he slide off next to, then into me. Obviously southerners don't get on with the challenging conditions so well as I continued to catch and drop riders and had a good couple of last laps. Despite only supposedly lasting for 40 minutes I got a full hour of racing and finished in 11th place.
|This is quite a climb.|
|How to hup hup hup|
That was the most fun I'd had on a bike since last December.
Cross racing's ace isn't it?
Thanks to the photographers that I pinched the photo's from.