• Taking a plastic butterknife to a tank fight. The National CX Championships

    I actually did a “proper” warm up.
    Admittedly I’d finished the proper warm up half an hour before the gridding for the race took place, so was cold again by the time we were started, but I did do one.

    I even sprinted as hard as I could at the start, and kept trying to sprint harder. Almost holding my own for once.

    But f-k me, by 1 minute into that race the leaders were, how can I put it, “comfortably” ahead?

    I compounded issues somewhat by letting my front wheel wash out over the top of a rut while still in the first lap, side-by-side melee, clattering arm first into one of the solid wooden stakes holding the course netting up and getting myself in a knot, but I don’t think the top half of the field really needed me to give them an extra advantage. They seemed to be wafting away quite easily as it was.

    Put me in all sorts of trouble though. From somewhere in the late 20s (which might not sound very good, but for me to keep up off the start with a National Championships level field is actually something worth looking impressed at), to about 50th in a few short seconds. Bugger.

    (Not that I was the only one having problems, of course, nearly 20 people DNFed, which goes to show how frantic and fast it was).

    Anyway. With the fear of being pulled out of the race early lurking in my mind I got back on and started to work my way back through the field. Of course, everyone there was fast, so there were no “making up 30 places in half a lap” heroics. Each place was a proper battle. thankfully the course was BRILLIANT to race on. seriously. Every battle for a place was a pleasure.


    As at the National Trophy in Bradford a couple of weeks back, just as I really started to get into it I was pulled under the 80% rule. I’d got it into my head that I would finish – I’d been on the course for 50mins (which was supposed to be the race length), but no. As I headed for the start/finish line a commissaire waving his arms directed me off the course. Gutted.

    Doubly gutted, in fact, as I’d just got past 3 people, who spotted that we were being pulled and sprinted when I didn’t, retaking their positions.

    Triply gutted, no less, as if I’d realised what was happening and kept ahead of them I’d have finished in the points. At the National Championships. (Ok so the winner gets 200 points, and I missed out of just 2, but still…)

    Ho hum.

    Good job it was bloody brilliant to be a part of 🙂

    Good job the people I was racing against seemed genuinely worried when I caught them, due all the encouragement I was getting from the North West posse at the side of the course 🙂 Awesome work everyone!


    6:06 pm on January 15, 2018 | Comments Off on Taking a plastic butterknife to a tank fight. The National CX Championships | # |