Discussion in 'Cyclocross (CX), Duathlon and Triathlon' started by smutchin, 15 Oct 2017.
Yeah got a reason and some lungs this time.
Round 7 of Eastern league which I had been looking forward to, its a bit of a XC course rather than a real CX course. Plenty of short sharp hills and descents. Dry but in places sandy conditions.
On the grid we got a unusually long lecture on not swearing and keeping our hands off other peoples handlebars. ( apparently people have complained us old boys are getting a bit over competitive and there was a bit of physical interaction last week)
On the grid I noticed mr Beardy who just beat me last week was in the grid line in front of me, so I initially made him my target. Whistle went and I thought I got a good start, Mr beardy was nowhere to be seen though . I then spied a Vet60 I know who started 2 grid lines behind me was in front of me so I started to question how well I was doing. However the first tight off-camber downhill bend the rider came off in front of him, he went over the top of him and into the bushes. The next time I saw him he was in Civvies cheering us on, on the 4th lap. He looked ok but his bike may have been damaged.
I then found Beardy, he was behind me, I was in a good group of 5 apart from one of them was a terrible cornerer but strong in a straight line, I tried to ensure I overtook him before any substantial bend as he went backwards or fell off. Coming into the 2nd to last there was only me, Beardy and mister fall off left from the group. Beardy managed to gap us and he slowly disapeared which left me with Mr fall off who off course lost yards in the bends but would then re-appear shortly afterward. Into the last lap he came a right cropper on a bend, luckily behind me and I could now dismiss him. Then I got lapped by the leader and another rider behind him who I let through. Then I thought the 2nd rider was not a lap ahead, He was on the same lap so I stuck to him like glue. He was grunting and gasping so I thought I would have him before the end, I just had to time it right. 400 yds from the finish we got lapped by the 2nd guy in the race, I gave him some room, the guy ahead gave him too much room and put himself into a large root which had him hammering the anchors on. I jumped on the lapping riders tail and swept through and pushed as hard as I could trying to break the following riders will to chase. It worked, he gave up and I span to the line UN-apposed. Same position as last week with the same guy in front so happy. Maybe next time I will move up a grid line. Not racing next week though as things to do.
Waiting for results to come in, but think I did better position wise than last weekend at Heaton Park. Chalk & cheese comparing the two races, last week was a soggy mudfest, this week was an almost bone dry grass track that really only started to disintegrate towards the end of out Vet40 race, and then the heavens opened so the last race of the day will have copped for the worst.
I'll be back shortly with a bit more race commentary from my perspective, and hopefully some results....
Still waiting on results (and pictures) but here is my initial debrief of my second race of the season and third CX race ever.
Unlike the monumental cock-up that occurred at Heaton Park last weekend (I locked up my bike while I went to get a pay'&'display parking ticket, only to discover I didn't have a key to the lock about my person!) I actually managed to get a pre-race reconnaissance lap in today so actually had an idea of what lay ahead this time. The course was surprisingly lumpy for a flat field in Cheshire, but on a positive note was very firm and grippy without much in the way of serious gradients (well, not until you had a few laps in your legs!). There was a double board obstacle, more of which later, and a set of engineered steps formed from thick tree trunks set into the hillside which even for me were unrideable.
I announced my plan on the start line for the benefit of anyone that was listening. I would start from the back and pick them off one by one! @dan_bo had other ideas and was aggressively pushing his way up the starting grid before the start whistle blew.
Suddenly we were off and as usual i was surprised by the speed out of the gate, haven't any of these guys heard of pacing themselves? The first lap was a blur, I managed to tuck in behind Dan for a little while before catching my breath and picking up a little more speed. I decided to be a hero when we got to the boards and went for the bunnyhop technique. This wasn't wholly successful as my approach speed was hindered by other riders dismounting and I gave my rear wheel a fair old clout on the second board then spent the next 400-500yrds wondering if my back tyre was going flat! On the first few laps I did manage to take 3-5 places each time I approached the nasty steps. There was a sharp descent before a turn into these and a lot of riders were very gingerly approaching the drop. Not me though, charge down like a bull in a china shop then leap off at the turn ready to run up the steps. Later as the field thinned there wasn't such easy pickings and my technique and rapid remount only gained me a place or two.
My second attempt at hopping the boards was similarly abysmal and again hindered by other riders I whacked the first board hard! I jumped off and carried my bike over the second board and on all subsequent laps decided it was more important to finish than to show off!
By the third lap I had settled into my groove and spent the rest of the race leap frogging positions with the same few riders. As I entered the final half of my last lap I allowed my self a backwards glance and could see nothing but clear track. I also had rapidly clearing track ahead as the riders in front gradually pulled away. I decided it was just an easy coast to the finish line and all I had to do was maintain my current pace to guard my position. My finish wasn't going to be that easy though! As I negotiated the last few hairpins I could see a rider slowly but surely gaining on me. As we entered the final turn I daren't allow myself a backward glance but I was sure I could hear and feel him right on my tail. Well bugger this for a game of soldiers, there was no way I was going to lose a place on the final straight so I dug in and sprinted out of that final corner with every last ounce of strength I could muster and made an ugly, undignified lunge for the finish line. It paid off
Just looking forward to the results now to see how much I held my position by......
Not a picture of me but I thought this was a good photo of a guy on a fat bike reverse steering into one of the tight downhill off camber bends. Hooligan!
Crowd seemed to appreciate it.
Both my daughters took part in the Western League CX U12 event at Stroud yesterday....
It was my youngest ( 5 years old ) first event... #prouddad.
Rd. 7 of the Western League yesterday at Keynsham. A great course on the flood plain next to the old Cadbury chocolate factory.
Smaller field than usual that could have been due to the cold weather & half term holiday.
Hence I finished in 18th place !
It's a very good event with lots of variety including a sandpit, spiral and boards.
Round 9, I missed round 8. Felt ok and was hoping for a good result. Course was a old bit of a park never used before and we were riding a lot on very bumpy ground. Tyre selection was questionable, there was some very solid stuff to race on but some very loose sandy soil in parts, a tiny bit of mud, tarmac, sand pit and gravel . I went with intermediates, I noticed some were on full muds and some even on file tyres.
I ran into a mate Glen and we talked tyres + pressures, we both were on inters but he was on a low pressure of 25 for the sand and soft stuff, I went for 40psi for speed on the firm stuff.
I felt crap on warm up, the course was effort everywhere no let up at all, no full on downhill for a rest. When the gun went I felt I was not firing on all pistons but noticed I was with my regulars so could not have been doing that bad. Start of lap 2 had me leading Mr Beardy, my now ever present nemesis from the last 2 rounds. I got a bit squirrelly in the sand pit and my chain came off. It came of the front and I threw it back on, only for it to come straight off as I pulled away. By the time I was sorted, I not last but very dam close. I went off mad as hell and picked off a few people very quickly and spotted my mate Glen with 3 others ahead. He usually comes in 10 places behind me so was sure I would soon catch him. Err no I didn't, it took me to lap 3 to get on his tail. Got my breath back then on a longish straight into the teeth of the wind I took all 4 ensuring I went passed so fast no one got on my tail.
I was then surprised to find myself on Mr Beardys tail and went past with ease, I mentioned I never expected to see him again after my mechanical, I'm sick mate was the dismal reply.
I soon realised I had gone way too far into the red and on lap 4 as I went through the sand pit Glen came roaring past, I was struggling through the sand at 5mph and he shot past like he was on a motorbike. I was sure I would get back to him but no he slowly pulled away.
By Lap 5 ( my last) I was not racing but just surviving and a few riders got passed me and I had no answer.
At the end I congratulated Glen and thought this must have been my worse result ever as I was several places behind him. I was surprised when the results came out, yes I was 5 places down on last week, not the 15-20 I was expecting. Glen had got his best result of the entire season!
Going to have to watch him next race as we look to be very much on a par if I don't get a mechanical next race.
Western League round 9 today at Purdown in Bristol. Overnight rain had left the course very muddy and the rain started again just before the Vet50 race.
Start was up The Hill a 12% muddy bank that left nearly all the riders either shouldering or pushing their bikes.
There then followed a flat section before the drop back down to the start area, the first time I crashed badly bruising & cutting my knee ( I wasn't alone nearly 50% of riders came off on this section, which amused the watching spectators ). On my third lap I completely misjudged the bend and when straight through the barrier!! It's all good fun... It was good to race in muddy conditions for a change.
Roll on the next one....
It's coming to something when there's guys still running file treads in November- a fast Beacon park in Upholland had a couple of decent climbs and plenty of camber but still managed to be fast- a five lapper in my case. Started steady for a change- the start was twisty and took a few corners to stretch out- no idea of the finishing order. Good fun. Lakes next.
I think you might have been on the u10's course....
Well it sez 5 on my Strava so I'm having it.
Picture including me in action being used to promote next local CX race...
Round 10 of eastern league today. Again ended up in a one to one battle with Mr Beardy. First lap I came off on a innocent looking corner in the woods but there was a root lurking just under the loose stuff. Mr Beardy was off into the distance as I sat on the floor. By the end of the 2nd lap I was back on his tail and then past. 4 riders ahead a guy came down on the same corner as me but harder.
By the 3rd I was starting to struggle and there was a wind blowing where on 2 parts of the course you really needed a lead out man and I was acting as his windshield. So I realized I needed him in front taking some wind. I slowed enough to get him in front and he took this as a sign I was beat so he pushed hard. I managed to hold onto him just. Then surprisingly we were overtaken by a guy on a charge who appeared from nowhere. Mr Beardy was on him straight away, by the 4th I was breathing out of my butt as they say but still in contct with them. On the last lap the strong rider got away and I sat on Beardy, the finish straight was very short after the last bend. Also he was stronger than me but I wasn't chucking the towel in. He beat me but only just, we raised a small cheer from the crowd on our all out sprint though.
Result felt weird, I was one place better than last week where I felt like I was completely rubbish but my mate Glen who beat me last week was his normal 10 places behind this time. Must have been a much stronger field this week as I felt I had put in a outstanding performance, result says it was one of my weaker ones.
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