Thankfully a better ride this weekend than last! Round 8 of the Eastern League ‘Cross Series was held at Davy Down country park in deepest Essex. We left home in appalling conditions, lots of rain, a touch of snow and temperature hovering around 0°C. Nice. Driving down the M11 I thought seriously about turning round and going back to my warm bed. I resisted this temptation and by the time we arrived at the venue the sky had cleared and it was raining only lightly.
Just time for a quick practise lap and warm up- the course looked good. A start finish area on grass then a cheeky climb through some trees that was just about big-ring-able followed by a short descent through the trees then up a set of steps along past the sign on hut, down a steep chute, back past the start area, up another set of steps and out round a field then back into the finish. Both sets of steps felt just right, at a sprint you could nail them two at a time, come the race this gave me a bike length or two on those around me but it was a little sketchy and I very nearly had a couple of serious face plants when the legs got a bit tired.
The race went well and from the gun I felt fairly strong. One rider broke away on the first lap and wasn’t to be seen again but two of us had a good scrap for second, Andrew Nichols just got me on the last lap, a stupid mistake on the entry to a grassy bend saw me loose the front end and he was away. Half way round the final lap I had almost made up the 15 seconds I’d lost but the legs screamed enough and I had to settle for second.
A good day out and a surprise trip to the podium, which was cool. Got to say a big thank you to Emma for even getting out of bed and coming with me let alone manning the pits and providing support. Looking forward to some more ‘cross racing very soon.