Sunday, 27 November 2011

National TLI Cyclo Cross Champs, Gateshead

There aren't many riders who would have helped themselves to a hot toddy the night before the big cycling event of the year. After a cuppa and a good splutter this morning I declared myself fit to race in the National Cycling Cyclo Cross and loaded up the car for the 20 minute trip to Gateshead Stadium. Although dry with a clear sky it sure was windy when we arrived and there were around 70 competitors of whom I think there were two ladies (so if you'd been there you might have won a bronze at least).
The course had been changed from that a month ago and with a huge headwind up the steep hill things were tough. Coupled with my cold, needless to say it wasn't my best performance, but now I've said it.  From the start it was head down and eyeballs out for an hour, brushing past gorse, guiding the tyres through the ruts, avoiding impaling yourself on the posts, trying not to be marker-tape whipped with odd strands blowing around furiously, pushing the bike up the hill every lap and taking the other three quarters to recover. I tried to ride with my legs out at an angle in the latter stages to relive the fatigue as the leaders came past me again. Show offs! Just wait till I've got my Gothic Jersey on - it'll be
worth a good few laps. 
I beat the winner to the finish line (so got to start my last lap) and so rode the lap casually knowing I'd only been lapped twice (or was that thrice). Another event successfully completed although I had to stop on the penultimate lap to sort out my gears.
I had arranged to sell my old 653 Joe Waugh frame to a bloke there so left with a little less metal and a few more quid in my pocket. Sorry to see it go but hey life goes on. The course wasn't too boggy so I retired to the pub for a pint with the team photographer rather than spray the bike down. More civilised I think you'll agree. I doubt I'll win a medal but I think it's complementing my running fitness so all good stuff ...

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