Tuesday, 17 January 2012

First timer

Sunday just gone saw my first outing at a National Trophy Series cross race - I had planned to some earlier in the season but never felt I was really up to it.  So as Shrewsbury was the final round of the series I had decided to take the plunge.

Arrived on my own around 9am, in freezing temperatures and clear skys.  The leisure centre car park was strangely quiet compared to last time I was there in early December, it didn't stay like that long.  It was soon fulling up with camper vans, mobile homes, and plenty of bikes.

A quick reccy of the course and it was pretty hard all the way round, nicely frozen off-cambre sections and rutted woody paths - this too was set to change, but I didn't think it was going to change as much as it did.

The race went ok, gridded on the back row in a field of about 45 forty something Vets category riders, I wasn't expecting much.  Up the first bank and I had someone trying to lie down on top of me, but managed to shrug them off and to follow a few wheels out to the fields, passing a couple of riders on the way.  The the race progressed the woody section became muddier and muddier, and my selection of Grifos was definitely not the right one.  By the last lap it was like riding on slicks, with mud clogging up the tread and the wheels sliding around all over the place.  A concerted effort to keep focused meant I stayed on two wheels when I wanted, and two feet when I wanted to run.  Needless to say I lost a bit to the folks who had better traction in the last couple of laps, and those who have the luxury of spare bikes so I was pleased to see the results...30th and collecting a point put me on the National Trophy tables, albeit 59th, 3rd from bottom!

I enjoyed the race, and am now looking forward to the last two races of the WMCCL series at Wolverhamptona and Baggeridge.

(courtesy of British Cycling)

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