I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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Bradford - Rd 5 - 6th

By  CJ Boom     17:40     
Photo Credit: Andy Whitehouse
Photo Credit: Aussie Larry - Velo UK

Bradford National Trophy where its skill + fitness = result. 
Was just a little off the pace to begin with, didn't get my foot in at the start so lost a bike length to the other contenders. I played it safe for 2 laps, the course had changed so much since I rode it in the practise session. Truly muddy and cut up, all the lines I has picked out in the practise were now just as slippy and risky as the rest of it all. I was perhaps too cautious. My skill was good to me though and I found myself pulling ahead through the turns when I was riding in the early part of the race for 6th against Alice Barnes and Beth Crumpton.
My skills have come on alot since playing about in the parks with Andy and Ben. I've learnt to place more weight on the outside leg, just because you can hear the grass ripping under you tyre doesn't mean brake, it means you're still gripping. 

Before the start I was reminded by Vet Dougie Fox from Crawley Wheelers who said, "look ahead, look at the exit'. It is basic fundamental advice. He used to ride motorcross and its something he was taught there. "don't look at the tree as you'll hit it." I actually know about this piece of sage advice, but in amongst worrying about having a good start, not falling off, the big descent, the cold and the mud. You need to be reminded of the basics. Focus on those basics and everything else will follow.

So in the end, I was 6th. Happy with the result. Rode the descent every time. In my head I set the target to attack the running sections and get on my bike and pedalling asap. This is where I was going to keep a lead on someone because the mud is just mud and you needed to be careful otherwise you'll just fall off and lose more time. I was 2 minutes behind Hannah Payton in 5th. I still need to bring that gap down, I would have preferred it to be 45seconds to 1minute. Delia had a good battle and try for 3rd but just missed it, but racing against Isla Rowntree is pretty tough. 
Delia has however found 3rd in the Trophy overall standings.

My second bike was a disc bike. I pulled to much on the brakes to behind with and realised I was slowly myself down way too much. D'oh! Once I got used to them I was more confident.
Dugasts didn't let me down. I rode a practise lap on my mud clinchers and they nothing, noticeably useless grip on an slight incline.

I doth my amateur cap to the main man. Nick Craig. Who rode an exceptional race to 2nd place. There is a reason why he's multiple National Champ and Olympic rider.

I enjoyed every second of the race, even though it was cold, challenging, exhausting and tough. That is exactly the way I like it.
If you missed Bradford. You missed out.

Photo Credit: A man called Bruce.
The child in the green hat looks so concerned for Jody Crawforth


About CJ Boom



  1. Do strong riders like yourself drink alcohol at all? I'm sat supping a pint in the pub when I should be on the turbo. Should I quit drinking if I want to do well in the road season?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for the reply Claire.
    I quit in March for this year's road season, and started again in October when the season finished. It did me the world of good.

    On one hand I think I might as well try my best to be in as good a condition as possible and get the maximum benefit from my training, so shouldn't add any unnecessary stress to my body by drinking what is essentially quite a toxic chemical. On the other hand, I do like the taste of ale very much and chatting with mates over a few drinks is nice... I may just do the 6 months on / 6 months off thing again.

  4. I removed my last comment because, I didn't realise it was perhaps not suitable.