Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Archer RC cyclo-cross 2012

A bit of a toughie this one. Not because it's blindingly technical, not because it was cold, wet or muddy. It wasn't any of these. What made it a problem was the fact I was harbouring a cough and cold, I wouldn't have raced if it was any of the above. In fact it was a balmy 17 degrees. So foolishly I told Rob, my team mate that day that I was on for it.
So we set off for 'that London' I think Rob was a little surprised to find a cyclo-cross course nestled within Hillingdons urban sprawl, but that's where it was. We arrived in plenty of time, a good job to as shaking hands with racing mates you haven't seen all year takes some time. With pleasantries done we set off on a course recce. I was pleased to see that Hillingdon when dry offers the easiest least technical course the league offers. The only exception being the relentless blister inducing tufts of grass.
bumpety bump
With a recce done we set off for the start. Sadly our poor gridding on the start would mark the whole race for Rob and myself.  A good fifty percent of the field were called up to be gridded the rest of us were slowly pointed towards the back of the grid. We were placed at about 100th from a field of over 130 racers, not ideal.
This far down the back I couldn't even hear the starters orders, so we just reacted when the riders started tearing off. Going down the tarmac start I made a point of grabbing a few places, I hoped Rob was doing the same. Once onto the rough stuff it was clear that moving up through the field would take some real effort, as most of the bends were so tight you almost had to track stand to take them. So the only option was to pass on the few straights, problem was everyone knew this and gave no ground. For me the whole hour was raced like this. And it was whilst having a lap long duel with a Hitchin rider that Rob took advantage of us looking at each other and passed into clear ground. I saw Rob at the same switchback every lap, and with the exception of taking a few of my 2011 competitors scalps that's how I continued and finished my race.
It was one under the belt, but I'm not riding at all until round two next week, unless this bloody cough passes.
Until next week

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