Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Culham Park cyclo cross 2012

Looking more impressive than I was!
Round 10, the final counting round. The race was to be held in Aylesbury, and hosted at RAF Halton, but things didn't go to plan for the organisers. So in stepped a gaggle of clubs and supporters to make sure the show went ahead. The planned venue was lost, so it was back to Culham park, the scene of carnage and mud plugging and much falling off (not by me though) earlier in the season.
To be honest I was really looking forward to this, the venue is a classic and I was looking forward to a good old ding dong with my season long friend and foe Keith Perry. Sadly though Keith was ill and not racing, and the formidable Pete Smith was there so it was a done deal in the over 50s.
They lined up on the start, I say they because I was in the bog and had to sprint like crazy afterwards to even start the race!
The four of us from LBRCC all got a good start. Stuart T, Stuart K, myself and Jools in that order. We hung on and we were all close. Then I hit a problem that went on to cost me each lap. The first climb was a wet grassy slope and I couldn't manage it, the 36x25 didn't give me enough traction and it called for a leg sapping  time wasting dismount and run each lap. Later on the first lap I was hit by an idiot trying to pass on the only section of the course where overtaking was impossible, and I was floored left floundering still clipped in. It was gutting because I could climb and pass others on the gravel climbs.
On the second lap I was passed by Jools as he twiddled up the grassy slope for a second time, leaving me stood looking at my feet.
I was now having a shit time. I'd forgotten my watch so I didn't know where I was in the race. I'd left my preferred race thermals at home as well and my back was killing me. For the first time all season I wanted to step off the bike. But it's a poor reflection on yourself if you can't suffer the hurt for a mere hour.
In the MX moguls
I decided to sit up, not cruise, but go steady. To some extent it helped and I passed a few riders in the technicals and on the gravel climb. But still the bloody grassy slope was doing for me, I'd get on someones wheel and they'd slap it into 28 and slip away.
I'd not seen the others, except a brief glance of lime green mid way. So when the bell came it was a relief, and it spurred me on to do a good final lap
Pedal-brake-dismount-run-pedal etc etc and minutes later I was going under the chequered flag.
Honours on the day went to Jools, Stuart K, Stuart T and myself all finishing within three minutes. That was a proper tough race and a fitting end to the official season.
Got to give a big shout to the clubs that stepped in to give us all a race, and to Keith for lying about how well I was doing from the side lines
Oh and bigger gears for next year.

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