Thursday, 30 October 2014

Central CXL Round 4 RAF Halton

Ten of us this time. Ten LBRCC riders racing, I remember when the club wasn't even that big! Our host venue were the superb grounds of RAF Halton, you could tell it was on forces land as it was immaculate.  The weather was almost immaculate except for the pretty strong winds, so all in all a pretty good venue for the LBRCC novices, the experienced racers and the many LBRCC spectators alike.
As usual the Novices went off first, we had six in this class including two novice novices! Emma and Kevin. Before we went off to warm up we watched the start, and then dashed off to see how they got on in the 'bowl' a steep drop with a tight turn to take you back up and out again........ Once they were underway we got on with our warm ups.
The course was a mix of well clipped grass and dry loamy singletrack, and all 100% rideable. The circuit was a beauty, with a little less singletrack it would have been a classic cyclocross course. Not a thing was an issue under tyre, only the increasing wind speed was an issue.
In no time at all we called up by the commissaire. I was called up to the front again, and then noticed that being in lane 8 on the left I was further away from the first bend, a right hander than some of those behind me?

We get a 45 second countdown, except it's not counted down and when the whistle goes I'm a little caught out and fumble with my trailing pedal. The benefit of the front row gridding is already lost. I knuckle down, I'm on the back of the fast guys with a gap behind me. To me it looks better than it actually is. We come to the first demanding part of the course a sudden loamy steep climb, and bosh the rider in front stops to walk it and a flash of team green goes flying past.....Miles. I un-clip and run to the top to see Miles almost finishing the next sector. I chase like hell to no avail, he is cementing a lead. We hit the Bowl and luck fails me again, two riders tangle and fall on the climb making me dismount and run again. Miles is away off and I'm mentally banging the bars with frustration. I won't give up, so carry on with my chase. He is stronger in the open, but I make gains on the technicals, and to make matters worst he is having better luck with walkers and fallers than me. It becomes clear that we are neck and neck, but our fate is being decided by others.
Dropping into the Bowl

Finally I get one clear fully ridden lap and I'm right on Miles tail. It's now that Andrew and Jules sail past. The scenario confuses me a little, Miles is ahead and we've held the Vet 40 pair off for longer.
I shake my self into action, but I haven't formulated a race plan, so when I see Miles luck take a turn for the worst (skidding into a rider with a rolled tub) I tear past, what was I thinking? After the race Jason from Team MK says I was flying at that point and barely keeping within the barriers.
I overcook it and fade in the final turns allowing Miles to take club honours.
Miles takes 17th and I trail in five seconds later to take 19th.
Andrew and Jules also take 17th and 19th in the Vets 40/49.
Neil took 2nd in Novices, with Kevin 5th, both are moving up to their relative age bands for their next race, Seniors and Vet50 respectively.
Ross, Darren and Stephen took 7th 8th 9th in that order, and Emma our first lady to race? taking 22nd
Andrew V40
Miles V50
Carl V50

Jules V40
Massive thanks to Ashley Lewis for his great images and his support on the day, cheers.

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