Cyclocross – Wessex League Round 1 Newbury
Not quite in the class of Clarry, David and Liam’s astonishing efforts on Saturday, but 3 of us pootled off for Round 1 of the Wessex League in Newbury. Central League doesn’t start till early October so a good chance to get some race practice in before then.
‘Mad Dog’ Winter and I were in the Vets race, both 50+ now (nearly typed vest race there….seeing string vests and allotments for a moment!), and Mike ‘Muscles’ Miach was in the Senior race for the more able bodied.
Very tough grassy course with a savagely long, 80m steep climb out the back, fast, hard grassy sections and draining, technical off camber switchbacks. A real tester of a course this early in season.
Its not very often you get a chance to race against the current 50+ World Champion, but thats what happened yesterday. Dave MacMullen from Cotswold Veldrjden was there in his blue jersey with the rainbow stripes. I actually passed him at the end of the second lap…he’d punctured and was running with the bike shouldered to the pits. Needless to say, he got a new bike and promptly passed me shortly after. I did hold his wheel for a lap though, and learned a lot in the process. Namely he is a lots lighter and has way more experience than me. Next time I’ll have him.
. He got a good start and held his own, and claimed to feel comfortable at the end for another couple of laps……….that wasn’t how I felt. The hill became more of a mountain on each lap and I almost hoped for a “strategic mechanical” so I could get off.
Bit of video of the stampede at the start of the Senior race here:
Eventual winner Ben Sumner showing how its done:
If you’re interested in trying it out, don’t wait to come and get involved. The season is over in a blink, and once you try it you’ll be hooked.
Good stuff, and we’ll be down in Oxford next Sunday for Round 2. Hopefully it will rain and “there will be mud”.