Monday, 7 October 2013

Central CXL Round 2 The National Bowl

Saturday 5th October, yep Saturday and not the usual Sunday slot. We're at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes and it's a corker of a day. A recce of the course shows it to be in fast dry condition. I've raced this course for years both in cyclocross and in mountainbike racing and this is the driest I've ever seen it. Which I can tell you is a pretty good thing, for this course is off camber central. The Bowl is an amphitheatre and the course follows it's curving and sloping lines, when wet either your front of back wheel will want to travel sideways. But today all is good.
I'm in the V50 race and I'm looking for a better placing than my 6th of last week. I'm given a helping hand with a front row gridding. The Juniors have gone and we're next. I had hoped that we'd be off after the vets so I could chase my old club mate Andrew, but it's the other way round today so I'm going to have him breathing down my neck.
The whistle goes and we're off, or rather everyone else is while I fumble with my cleat. My head start is blown and I have to chase like mad. I move through, and track down Chris from Palmer Park and settle into the racing. Try as I might I can't bridge the gap, but there's space between me and the rest, with the exception of Trisports Tony who is closing in. I shake of the panic and concentrate on getting through the considerable amount of technical trail as smoothly as possible. When I pop back out onto the grass I see I've made some more space between myself and the chasing Trisports rider.
The racing goes well lap after lap. The only issue I have is getting stuck behind some walkers on the only stiff climb, the dismount costs me time.
Next it's time for the top vets to come past, I know most of them so we can talk and the passes go without a hitch and little time is lost.
Dusty trail, a rare treat in cross

I'm pretty well on my own now and start to wonder where Andrew is. Judging my pace is hard without anyone to compare to, so as it's all coming to an end I just dig in until it really hurts. Then to my dismay I see Andrew and a bunch of other vets approaching, they go past pretty swiftly. It's less than a lap to go so I try and limit the gap, but I'm feeling it and Andrew looks strong. No matter what I do now it won't effect the result so I race to the line without worrying about blowing. I cross the line in 6th place again. I catch up with Andrew, Chris from Palmer Park and the Trisport guys and girls, the course has set a real buzz amongst us and we while away the time in the hot October sun! talking about upcoming races.
Before we set off we watch Julian go in the senior race. The poor lads right up against it, but when I leave he is midfield and ahead of the Winymilla rider, don't know why that pleases me but it does.
With the racing done on the Saturday I can go out on the mountainbike Sunday morning for a nice steady three hour XC ride, a steady ride after a race always feels good and this one feels good.
I get home and devour my lunch and immediately think about riding again. A few calls later and soon I'm out with local fast lad Tim Edwins and Simon of the LBRCC on the road bikes. Steady? yeah steady, my arse. My legs are tired, I haven't showered, I've raced the crosser, ridden the mountain bike and now I'm flat out in the hole punched in the air by Simon. I'm a bit up and down, I have a few good turns, but mostly sit in. Tim kindly points out (with a huge grin) that an 'Interval session' is just what I need, before leading us up Ivinghoe Beacon at full tlit. I have a great ride even though I'm knackered, and I still want to play even near the end. The right company always makes a ride.

No comments: