Central League CX Round 5 Brackley
Its hotting up now in the Central League after 5 rounds.
This week was a longish journey up the M40 to Brackley, near Silverstone/Bicester.
Once again, a big field, but with Muddy Hell and the Rapha Supercross on Sunday, a few less TCC than normal.
So just Mac, Duncan, Stephen and Penny raced. Here’s how I saw the race.
Not as muddy and forbidding as the previous week, but Mac, along with the other course builders, had set up a tortuous, twisty, punishing course, with a big rise over every lap from the bottom of the circuit to the top. Lots of off camber bends and twisty cut backs, so one for the technicians rather than the power boys.
The League places are starting to take shape now. I’m currently sitting 4th equal in the Vets with Doug’s son Richard Collins (Imperial). With Richard at the Rapha race this weekend it was a chance to open up a gap and maybe close up on Sam Williamson (Hemel Hempstead) and Chris Smith (Milton Keynes) who were 2nd and 3rd respectively in the League. I lined up alongside Chris on row 2 of the grid and we exchanged a few pleasantries before hostilities commenced.
Got a great start, for a change, tucked in behind the Corley rider who usually is in contention for overall win, and was settling in well on the first half lap when someone punctured up ahead and 3 of us got tangled up. By the time I’d got past the mess about 10 or 15 riders had passed me, including both Sam, Chris and Stephen Campbell (now starting to find his CX legs).
No matter. I slowly started to work my way back through the field, and with couple of laps to go managed to overhaul my main rivals, and then put some distance into them.
Came in 19th overall, 6th in the Vets, so gradually starting to creep up towards a top 15 finish, and maybe one day challenge current Vets Champ Gavin Rumbles. But for now, just pushing for number 2 spot. League positions not posted yet, but its going to be tight. Sam and Chris were 22nd and 23rd, 8th and 9th in the Vets.
Mac and Stephen were fighting it out on their own by the look of it. This week Mac’s “age and treachery” just overcoming Stephen’s “youth and skill” – to quote Fausto Coppi! 58th and 61st respectively.
Penny glided round in her second race and came in 80th, taking a couple of scalps on the way. However, she’s developing great Pit chatter after the race – so starting to look a real pro. Go Pen!
provisional results here:
The League takes a break for a couple of weeks now, with the Regionals at Milton Keynes in 2 weeks, which some of us will be racing in. Then battle recommences on Nov 18th at Luton for what looks like being a hard fought second half of the season.