Sunday, December 07, 2014

North of England cyclo cross championship 2015

I rather fancied making this event a good one. It's like the nationals but at least 1/4 the size. I did most thing right in the week except a few late nights and too much walking with heavy shit yesterday which meant I turned up with a sore ankle.

I brave faced it and warmed up regardless... as best I could in 4 degrees C and a 16mph wind. I ended up on the start line behind someone with really bad starting stance and it translated into a rubbish start for me. Lesson learned!

I had to ride right alongside someone who was heading ever nearer to the tape and rather than getting pushed off course I leaned in while she bounced off me a few times. Ah those extra 5kgs pay off, not to mention being nearly 6ft tall.

As we rounded the 5th corner I realised I had never even ridden this awkward corner and ended up running it while everyone with me rode it.

I settled into a group with two Derwentside riders and the girl I had interlocked with earlier.  I was gutted to see my team mate, Hannah disappear into the pits mid asthma attack.  We dropped one rider after 2 laps but I continued to ride with Derwentside for the third lap.

I finally gained some ground through the hurdles and, now unhindered, took the lower line through the awkward corner, finding out just how impossibly easy it was to ride it.

I put all of my lung capacity into staying ahead and most importantly maintaining a gap so that she couldn't get on my wheel. I was half way around the course and enjoying a tail wind by the time I was satisfied I had a gap.

There was the remotest chance that if I had carried on that way for another lap or two I could have caught the next rider but alarm bells started to chime as I tasted blood on my lungs and I decided to rest up a bit for Bradford National Trophy next week. Towards the end of 3 laps to go, Amira Mellor flew past, lapping me and I then noticed Hannah Saville a couple of turns behind me.

As I assumed she had quit after her asthma attack I was mostly surprised and thought she may just have had a bike change and slipped back into the race without me knowing it. I decided I wasn't going to get lapped by my team mate and started pegging it again. For that, I am pretty grateful because I could have slacked off pending next week which could have been the wrong choice.  That said, I was relieved there were not many more laps as unclipping for the hurdles was hurting my ankle more every time and I was starting to think I would just plough into it instead.

I just stayed ahead in a weird twist, mainly associated with the effectiveness of our respective prescription drugs.

It was absolute bliss to shower at the venue. Why we don't have more of that?

We ate on the way home like we'd been to a big national event but all the same were in by 6.30. I disappeared into the loft to stretch while Andrew went to bed.

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