Sunday, 1 December 2013

This is How It Feels

Lochore Meadows Cyclocross - 1st December


VCM at the head of the race with Gareth Jones
I wasn't planning to ride this event but after seeing the weather forecast on Wednesday I decided it would be more fun than than the planned training session.  Greig Baird offered to drive which made for an easy day.  Leaving my car at home meant I didn't have to put my bike on the roof, saving me from any flashbacks of last weekend's incident with a low barrier.

By all accounts the last visit to Lochore Meadows in 2010 was a mud-fest of epic proportions.  With this in mind I decided to race my singlespeed.  I spent most of the week rebuilding this bike after 'the incident' so it would be a good chance to ride it.

I arrived in time to see Niamh Waters, daughter of fellow VCMer Fraser, take the top step of the podium following her win in the Under-8 Girls race.  Well done, Niamh.  From the results it looks like Murray had a good race too.  Two good rides in the Waters household hopefully made up for Fraser missing his race through illness.

I was slightly concerned when I saw the layout.  The ground was hard in places and there seemed to be a fair amount of tarmac and hard path on the course.  Not ideal terrain for a singlespeed.  The main arena had a huge spiral of doom which didn't look terribly inspiring to ride.

After a low key line up I got off to a pretty good start somewhere in the top 10.  The pace on the first section felt pretty fierce and I was spinning like a mad man trying to hold a reasonable position without cooking myself.  I dropped back a few places and the pace settled down slightly.  The first run through the arena revealed that I had significantly underestimated how long it took to ride the spiral.  This meant that much more of the lap than I thought was on slower ground.  The new Challenge Limus I was running on the front hooked up really well in this section with its multitude of corners.

This section actually rode pretty well.  I think the reason it worked was because it wasn't circular.  As a result every corner was different although it did get slightly dull turning the same direction each time.  The main problem was trying to remember where the barriers were, especially when riding into the low sun.

I was embroiled in a race long battle with Allan Love and for the first half hour Barry Wilson was heavily involved.  The three of us swapped attempts at trying to get away but nothing seemed to stick.  My singlespeed was working well.  There was only one fast section of the course where I was under-geared and another longish section where I had to fight hard to stay on top of the gear.

At the half way stage I tried to put in a big effort to get away and got a gap but Allan came back accross to me.  We were catching Alan Lamont which spurred us on.  With a lap to go I gave it everything in the arena section and opened a decent gap which I managed to cling on to until the line.

Two great rides by VCM saw Gareth Jones battle it out with David Lines for the win and Brendan Milliken well inside the top 10.

Brendan Milliken

Thanks to everyone involved in organising the race.  This was the second Kinross CC race I've ridden in the last three months and I've really enjoyed both of them.  I hear they run a great sportive as well but I keep forgetting to enter it before it sells out! Thanks to all the usual suspects in Scottish Cyclocross and thanks to Big Bobble Hats for keeping my head toasty warm post race. 

Thanks once again to Martin Young for the photos.

Bonus points for anyone who can spot the (very) tenuous title.

How did we do:

Gareth Jones 2nd (Senior)
Brendan Milliken 8th (Senior)
Simon Fairfull 11th (Senior)

Martin Steele 22nd (Veteran)

Martin Steele




2 comments:

addy said...

excellent. Sorry to miss it, but was training hard..... Honest.

Anonymous said...

Got the title. The mighty Carpets!
Nice report.
Gary