Race report – Cyclocross- Central League Round 10 Hillingdon
What a great day – our TCC home fixture, and two TCC winners. Following on from Chris’s race win in the Cat 4’s on saturday, this has been a good weekend for the club.
Mud was back. The volunteers did a brilliant job creating a really tough and technical course, and the support from everyone was immense. To Lisa, Barbara, Bill, John, Tom, Jason, Stephen and so many others: a huge thank you.
After the overnight rain the surface cut up really quickly in the youth races, so by the time the Vets and Ladies lined up a real mudfest was in store.
Sol, Martin and I have been training hard and been there for each other all season and today we were all determined to leave nothing in the tank. My race started first, followed a minute later by Martin in the 40+ and then Sol in the Ladies.
I went off hard and was determined to get to the first corner first after 400 metres on the tarmac. I managed it, and then I put the hammer down. The legs were back and, nervous as I was about leading from the start, I kept my concentration and pushed on. Unlike in previous weeks I didn’t have any mechanical issues and kept calm through the technical stuff and pushed 100% on the straights. I was so excited coming over the line first, and hearing the shouts of Tom Kirkin, Lisa and Jason. Even got a hug from Mac. I was proud as punch. Martin was next in. A season’s best 7th place for Martin. How many hours has Martin put in on the bike in TTs and ‘cross this year? He really deserves his League position in the top 10. Chapeau. Then, icing on the cake, Sol steamed in first in the Vet Ladies, second lady overall, beating all her main rivals in the process. What a girl!
By now the course was as slippery as an eel, and as rutted as a deer in season….not sure where that one came from! The Seniors really had a tough job just getting around the bends and bumps, and most still managed to bunny hop the sleepers and barriers; great skill and commitment. Gavin, Christos, George and James all did well, but victory went to the immensely powerful Neil Ellison from West Drayton who powered to an impressive victory.
No more Central races till late January, so a few of us will be off to other London and Wessex fixtures over Christmas and the New Year, and then up to Derby for the Nationals on 11th January. We’ll give it our best shot and will definitely enjoy the experience.