Bit of a mixed bag since the Three Peaks. Round 3 of the Eastern League 'cross series was at Colchester and was very flat and very fast. This type of race is not really my thing but gave me an hours worth of practise on terrain I don't go well on, worthwhile then. Position- well down the order. How can riding round a flat football pitch feel harder than riding over the three highest mountains in Yorkshire, I no understand this?
So onto the weekend just past and a new venue, for me, at Welwyn. Signing on was a bit more lively than usual as six Belgians had signed on, getting some practise in ahead of Sundays National Trophy at Derby. A nice wee course, mainly on grass with a couple of nice woodland sections and even a wee descent. A few practise laps and I felt much happier that I could ride well on this course, the ground being soggy would help too, a bit more of a slog than an all out sprint. As expected the Belgians took off and cruised round at the front chatting away to each other. Behind them the racing was fun and close. Quite happy with ninth place, feeling like I'd gone as fast as my legs would allow me to. Still getting used to the all out one hour effort of cross- it's a bit of a shock.
Being too chicken to attempt the Derby National Trophy I decided to ride the third round of the Lincolnshire League yesterday. The lap was kind of like a mini mtb course, some fire road, a nice piece of singletrack and some tight twisty bits though the woods. Being my first time at a Lincolnshire League event I was unsure what to expect, surveying the carpark there were a few likely looking suspects, shiny oiled up legs, shades and plenty swagger. The start was quicker than I expected and it took me a couple of laps to get up to the front where I joined the two leaders, we raced round in a good wee group for a few laps. Then a crash, completely my fault, as we were passing another rider I totally missed my braking point for a ninety degree bend and t-boned my competitor in front- oops sorry mate! This allowed one guy to get away by thirty seconds or so. Determined to make amends I got the head down and pulled in the leader, we rode together for the remainder of the race till I got a gap in the final wooded section meaning I could cruise the last hundred metres of fire road. Finally back on the podium, it's been a while. Hopefully with some training it won't be the last this season. Looking forward to race the Scottish Series at Glenmore.