I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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By  CJ Boom     15:20     
Robinson leading the 2012 National Trophy Series
There is a curious thing in cyclocross or maybe its womens cyclocross is that pretty much if I wanted to race against the best people in the world, I could.
Not because I'm at their level, just because that is the way it works.

Most recently I've been pulling up to the start line and standing alongside Louise Robinson (Ian Cleverly has written a post on the Rapha site about her domination of Three Peaks).

Domestically this year, aged 46, she has been matching the other twenty somethings toe-to-toe. Twelve years  ago Louise Robinson took the silver medal at the World Cyclocross Championship in Sint Michielsgestel loosing out on the rainbow bands by a not so shabby 57 seconds to Hanka Kupfernagel.

Looking down some weird text only list based website built in 1998, I picked out that she managed four podiums in World Cup CX races in 2000/2001, Zolder, Oostmalle etc
She was 3rd in the Gloucester GP in the US in 2004 too.

I don't know what CX was like in 1995-2006 as I didn't do it, I played football but I think it was probably pretty niche with little support from BC.
Today there is much more coverage, it is more popular in Britiain though it seems there is still little support for womens CX from BC.
But to this day (though hopefully the form of Harris and Wyman look like it will change history) no other British CX female rider has climbed onto a World Championship podium. Louise Robinson is pretty unique and me and Delia get to line up against her formidable skill and fitness.

We often discuss Ms. Robinson, we've turned her into some sort of superhero and placed her on a pedestal. This is because we have little information, googling doesn't really turn up much, she's an enigma to us, to which we only have her results to relate to.

Our questions to each other on email, via text and at races are below:

Claire via email 15 Oct "Robinson is a hero. I like how she doesn't even bother warming up. She just turns up and does her thing.  Sidepoint - I need to practise my starts."

Delia via email 22 Oct "How do you think Louise Robinson got that dark tooth?"
Claire via email "Probably did it in a race and then carried on and won it."

Delia via email 17 "I read the race quote from Louise Robinson after the race and she said she just entered on a whim and she hadn't ridden her bike for two weeks. She's a machine."

Delia at Koppenberg CX race 31st 1 Nov "You know at the peaks, I had Mark and my dad and a car to go to all the support points. I saw that Isla Rowntree had fashioned this wheel support thing to her bike, she was just riding that around all the mountains to be the pit crew for Louise Robinson. Them two are nails. No wonder she won."

Delia via tx 3 Nov - 16:54 "Louise Robinson is on twitter! Get her followed. She came 8th"
Claire replied "I know! LR was 2mins off Wymans and 4mins ahead of GB youngsters. Yeh I found her on twitter, got some good chat."

Delia via tx 4 Nov  "I bet Louise Robinsons lungs are the size of chip pans. In fact, I bet she has fish and chips for her tea after the Euros."
Claire via tx 4 Nov "I reckon Robinson will smash us all up tomorrow, the Euros were just a warm up."

Delia 5 Nov via tx 5 Nov "Who'd win in a fight between Louise Robinson and beryl burton?"
Claire replied "Louise would win, burton would wimp out and time trial her way to safety in scotland."

Delia 18th Nov at race "Spoke to Louise Robinson on the startline today. Said well done for the Euros, she said thanks."

Delia at CX race "your bike is pretty light."
Claire at CX race "yeh but I don't think it has an effect. Look at Louise Robinsons bike. I think it made of 853 steel."
Delia at CX race "yeh she probably made it herself."
Claire at CX race "she probably has 8 speed. And she still wins."

Claire at the last CX Trophy "I have switched to bananas for breakfast, porridge is a bit to much to digest for the 11am race."
Delia at last CX Trophy "yeah, I had to get up super early to get Kev here for the race. So I had time. I wondered what Louise Robinson has?"
Claire at the last CX race "probably none of the chemical crap with electrolytes, probably a bacon sandwich."

Claire via tx 30 Nov "Gonna do a blog posts about all the discussions we have about Louise Robinson, like how she would win in a fight against a shark etc. I looked up her results in 2000/2001, she was the original CX kid. I hope she doesn't come and punch me for doing the internet about her."

I don't really know how to compare it. But I guess it is like lining up alongside David Miller who went to the Olympics and all that and still wins races to this day.

About CJ Boom



  1. Nice post. It may look like 853 steel tubing but if it's the same frame she rode at Ipswich last year it's actually a prototype titanium Islabike frame.

    When your Dad is the first Briton ever to finish the Tour de France and also the first ever to win a TdF stage , I think that the standard is set pretty high in your family!

    This interview with her sheds some light on how come she's so tough...


    There are some great quotes in that interview:-

    "My first club run was 114 miles into the Yorkshire Dales, and as seems a regular story, I got left to my own devices when I blew my doors off and had to grovel home where my Mum had to help me off my bike and ply me with sweet tea and biscuits while I lay on the drive."

    "I didn't make a decision to concentrate on cyclo cross until after I had retired from Mountain bike racing in 2002. I did ride cyclo cross during the winter, but again it was part of the bigger picture in terms of the summer MTB season. My Silver medal at the World Champs came off the back of a very intense winter preparing for the Olympic Games in Sydney."

    "You have to be very selfish at times. One year my Mum had to delay Christmas dinner for the whole family because I was doing intervals on the turbo trainer in order to peak for the National Cyclo Cross Championships."

  2. I changed a rear mech for her once, at a MTB race in the 90's - put on a leopard print Sram ESP9 rear mech (similar to http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/SRAM_ESP_9.0SL_Woody_derailleur.html ). She was very nice and bought me a coffee while I fitted the mech.