Velo Club Moulin

Saturday, 18 October 2008

glenmore cross

A slightly different flavour to this race report. One from the other side of the fence as Velo Club Moulin hosted round 1a of the Scottish Cyclocross series in conjunction with the lovely people at Glenmore Lodge.

The Lodge is Scotland's national outdoor training centre and lies in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park. It offers courses in many different outdoor activities, but this was probably it's first experience of cyclocross. This round would be the UKs most northerly cyclocross this season and almost certainly the only one to be played out in the shadow of some 4000 foot mountains.

The race team met early in the Mountain Cafe for a hearty breakfast - Jac, ChrisM, Mark, John, Davie and Dan (who'd already been up and down Carn Ban Mhor by the time we met). Several thousand calories and a good few cups of coffee later, we convoyed up to the Lodge and had a quick look round the proposed course with Carl Haberl .

The team quickly got things going. Hurdles down, course mainly marked (although we couldn't tape the zig-zags on the lawn as a rescue chopper was scheduled to drop in later in the day), risk assessment done. Sweet!

Fellow VCMers Anja and Phil along with Gareth and dRJ0n pitched up and it was time for a quick ride. Off into Rothiemurchus, up the Lairig Ghru path and back by the Loch Gamhna via an impressive faceplant for Mark. Nearly four hours later our band of slightly tired cyclocrossers are back at the lodge with rosy cheeks, raging hungers and not a single puncture between us.

Showers - curry - burgers - beer - port and lemon - bed

We're up sharp in the morning for a quick breakfast where Mark and I marvel at John's two black pudding race fuelling strategy. More taping, a final safety check and we're ready for racing.

Dan and Karen man the sign-on desk and before you know it, Jac the chief commissaire is giving the juniors their safety briefing.

BANG! (eventually)

Racing is underway!

You can read more about the actual racing in Andy's fine report over on British Cycling website. Some braw performances from VCM racers with Anja taking the win in the women's race despite a severe mechanical and a quick bike change. Andy took second in senior men with two more VCM riders in the top 10 - new signing Phil in fifth and John in seventh.

The U12s race follows and sees the best racing of the day, a tantrum and a few tears. Damn, these kids are competitive!

After prize giving, the team whirs back into action - tear down the course, bundle up the fence stakes and complete the paperwork.

Done and dusted.

I predict big things for the Glenmore round next year - it's an awesome venue and the race course is a corker.

Many thanks to Carl at Glenmore Lodge and to Dan and Karen for their valuable help. Thanks also to Carl at Bikelove for sponsoring the numbers.

Next - back to racing tomorrow at the one of the classic Scottish courses - Auchentoshan.

(bottle of Grimbergen standing in for winner Dan Whitehead)

photos by Mark and dRj0n

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