Its been 2 weeks since my last race... I was entered to race the Northern Champs race but after a Christmas party incident in a Paris bathroom left me with a very sore head I had to give it a miss.
Wasn't sure how I was feeling before this one... training is going pretty well.
The venue, Dalton Park, was almost free from snow but in leaving it left behind a pretty soggy mess so full mud tyres were perfect.
The course wound its way front and back of a big hill feature with a section along an exposed top... the climbs were pretty short, the descents nicely off camber or slippy.. all good cyclocross elements.
The start was on a narrow path on a slope only a few riders wide so the field spilled onto the grass either side and as we set off I was nicely cut up by a guy that came from above me.. with the anger of that move I was out the saddle on the first short climb and up into the top 5.. by the back half of the lap I had moved into 3rd with a clear view of 1st and 2nd riding away.. the severity of the start strung the field out quickly leaving myself and 4th place to battle out most of the race with 5th a comfortable distance behind and the guys in front now out of reach.
I love the intensity of cross racing... its something you don't get in endurance events... you ride the whole race with people breathing down your neck.. the pressure never lets up.
Towards the end of the race I notice 4th place wasn't there anymore and I got to relax a little and just maintain a gap... then the bell lap came and then it was done.. first top 3... now i just have to do it when there is no national on and the field is at its strongest.