With much trepidation here goes my first Velo Club Moulin Blog post....
A week after the Gateshead race and an £80 parts repair bill later I was back at another cross race.
The Stainton venue was windy and cold... watching the Junior race from the comfort of a warm van the motivation to get changed and get riding was low.
With no National Trophy race on the field was stacked with some top quality rider... Oldham, Ward, Collins, Murray, Moss, Nixon.. the list was extensive so today wasn't gonna be easy.... as I walked the car park checking out who had turned up my top 5 hope went to top 10 then to a more realistic top 15... I'm not frightened to admit I still have alot to learn and it was obvious that I was about to get taught a few new tricks.
First sign on for Velo team :)
After a quick change Ipedalled out onto the course... to not long after turn around and head back to the van.. I had changed rear wheels and forgot to fit a spacer to inside of freehub so cassette was rattling.. luckily I had the other wheel with spacer with me and was able to borrow tools and sort it.
The course looked pretty awful but once on it it rode really well... plenty of turns, a nice climb, transitions from dirt to tarmac which were only surpassed in their bike sliding ability by a set of off camber bends which were really tricky made more so by having to slide up and though a gate only a rider wide :)
I was mid field on the start line and spent the first lap executing some high risk dubious cornering overtakes to cut my way up towards the top 10.
On a set of low boards that could be bunny hopped I saw new team mate Dave Crawley standing with his bike, later found out a snapped rear mech... I feel your pain Dave!!!
The race was excellent... I had a great battle for most of the race with the same Malton Wheeler rider as we exchanged places two or three times a lap.. he still had the memories of me overtaking him last lap a few weeks earlier... He would be a little quicker through the turns but I would get on the gas on the climbs and take position back.
About 45 minutes in I was overtaken by the leader ... Paul Oldham... no great shame as the form he has at the moment I was surprised it didn't come earlier... another 40 seconds later then Steven Ward came through... a North East rider having a great battle with Oldham and squeezing out the other Hope factory boys for the second place spot.
A lap to go I was just behind my Malton Wheelers rival on the start finish climb so I rode hard past and then buried myself for the rest of the lap.. one final out the saddle effort and the race was done... 13th place in a good field of riders... I know I have both more to give and to learn so looking forward to North of England CX champs in a few weeks.
Picture courtesy of Lee Adeola (http://www.flickr.com/photos/leeandamanda/)
Videos of the race can be seen here;
Velo jersey arrived yesterday so will be fully representing from now on in :)