I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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magic! would have wanted it to be cheesy dutch and 70's pop music and some kinda man with accent narrating. but tis still old school and fun

Originally uploaded by Andy Waterman

Woke up at 6.30am to get to Andy Waterman's - he's an excellent pit man, couldn't ride cross without him. Like a caddy to a golfer he rode the course with me pointed the out roots, fast lines and told me where I needed the gas to get move speed out of the corner. Luckily, the clocks went back on Sunday evening so I had an extra hour and the 6.30am start wasn't really that brutal.
We drove on desserted roads through London towards and through an eery and empty Dartford tunnel and final up to our destination: Ipswich's Chantry Park and round three of the Cycle Cross National Trophy.
Arriving in plenty of time everything was taken as it came and when I came to lining up on the start I was ready and knew what I wanted to do from the gun. Controlled through the muddy singletracked, recoup on the climb out the back and wide into the corners to keep smooth lines and be prepared for the steep manmade bridge across the course.
I was first out the blocks leading in the corner, and then the next corner and then the straight and I was looking around thinking why aren't the fast girls passing me. Over the bridge and the series leader comes past, the rest stay at bay. The woods out the other side. Blast! I'm going to fast, I'm concentrating on my great position, my feeling great and the next rooty bit not on scrubbing off some speed to take an easy corner. Too late I try to grab the brakes, I know this will only make my wheel wash out, so I let go. I'm running wide, it's all moving in slow motion before my eyes, through the course tape, snap, tangle, stop. The girls queueing behind move past in the blur of colour.
I get going again and attack the course and fight for my position. The forty mins of leg searing pain ends with a sixth place and lessons learnt looking forward to the next round in Bradford. Ergh why can't they have them closer to home.

Konrad Manning riding for Rapha Condor competed in the vets race.

While elsewhere James Duguid rode to 7th for Rapha Condor in the London Cycle Cross League

and Rene did you break your bike again?
Well i found some form. Got stuck when the organisers tried to ram 134 riders (mad number huh) through a tiny gate. A load of people crashed and I don't think I was best placed. 
The first lap I felt like I was having a walk in the park. Its not cross unless your lungs are burning. But I was being held back by the slower riders who weren't fast in the singletrack. The guys in front had more power on the flat but needed to unclip in some section while I felt I could ride.
I was comfortable in 2nd place, the course was fast and dry. Good all round but not my favourite.
Jim Jams (here's a practise lap )wasn't feeling great in the morning and with a large field it pushed him down to 11th fighting to get past slower riders
Rene brought a touch a Dutch courage but he was unlucky for a 2nd week. This time rolling a tyre. Unfortunate
Ben went drinking the night before so was less that motivated to ride
Dan showed up with his super light full 2010 Dura Ace and placed himself 3rd
Charlie P - king of the Raphaettes tried cross for the first time. Going balls out. We're waiting for his result and it was a most perfect ride for a first timer. Good on CP. Comendable and a difficult course

Excellent old school video of cross at Crystal Palace .... awesome

Short hop down to East Grinstead for a hot sunny race at dusty Deers Leap Park. A full off road course of hard compacted ground made for a fast race.
I have to admit my skill couldn't keep up with the speed and on lap 2 I head butted a tree after becoming magnetised towards it on the steep descent. Smash my head, grazed my neck an crooked my jaw. In the following days it hurt to chew.
From there I lost alot of places and time. Plus lost alot of confidence.
Was lapped by the ladies leader but not by other female competitors  and I feel the results were incorrect and I completed 7 laps not 6 finally finishing 3rd. Results place me 5th. Appealing the result.
The race left me in a slump but motivation has picked up and looking forward to round 3