Friday, 24 December 2010

LVRC National Cyclocross Championships

Ashorne in Warwickshire hosted the 2010 Championships, and greeted the forty plus souls that made it there with a temperature of -12 and deep laying snow. The original line up had seventy two riders on the start sheet, but the weather put paid to many a riders plans .

The course was 'old skool' and designed by Mick Ives. The usual hurdles were replaced with old fashioned fences and the course ran through fields, woodland and a working farm. A few practice laps were priceless, for under the picture postcard snowy landscape lay a myriad of frozen solid tractor ruts, that would later send many riders airborne. I let as much air out of my tyres as possible and lined up with the forty plus assembled riders. I looked side to side and wondered how many of these guys held the one hundred and seven international and national titles that had been listed in the race info.

I got my answer pretty quickly, all of them I reckon as I hung on third from last breathing like a rusty train! I kept a few in sight and made ground through the woodland singletrack, but swiftly lost it in the open fast ground. This sadly was the pattern for my whole race until for a bit of variety I took a big off leaving a streak of the red stuff in the snow and my bars and levers having an argument with each other. I was forced to walk back to the marshals intending to quit. However they encouraged me to go on for what was probably my last lap. It turned out I had two left, the first one was dreadful as my mojo had totally gone and I was all over the place. I calmed down for the final one, got around cleanly and gained a place in the final metres.

I came 19th, or so the results say, but they only list twenty two finishers. Was/could the attrition rate be that high.

The race was a nice end to a dreadful year, marred by the accident that cost me a lot of racing. 2011 has to be accident free...touches wood,fingers crossed etc and hopefully I'll be lining up for the Belgians for the first road race of the year.

Merry Christmas.

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