I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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This is the course for Thursdays GVA Koppenberg Cross.

Perhaps an idea that wasn't such a good one as its one of the hilliest courses I've ever seen. And I prefer power climbs not drags.
That said its 2 hours from Calais and closer to go to than a few races in the UK.
So while the Team ViCiOUS crew are prepared to help me out, I'm going to go out there and try my hardest.
I feel like I've gone back in time by four years, 2008, Bradford National Champs
I was so nervous, I wasn't gridded as I had no recognised points, I was so worried that as Helen Wyman came past to lap me I'd get on her way and she'd get cross (luckily that didn't happen).

I've set myself some goals.
Top 30
Don't get lapped
Don't give up on the climbs
Stick to schedule through the day, eating, warm up, etc

I've fitted a compact chain set so that my new lowest inner ring will be 34t and ive put on a new 12-27 cassette

Dugast Rhinos on both bikes.

I've not got many superstitions, well I have none I have mostly routines that I like to stick with. One is to wear my pink framed Oakleys for CX because they have a clear lens and then I don't have to mess about with sunglasses instead of getting ready to race.

Another is to keep my gloves in a special place in my bag so I can always find them.
My gloves are a pair of Specialized MTB gloves and these ones are lucky. They aren't my lucky pair of gloves they are lucky to still be existence. Four seasons have past and those little £20 things won't give up. Their staunch refusal to be put in the bin is admirable.
I like them because they fit me right, aren't to hot, aren't to cold. The padding is just right and they dry up nice and quickly when they get doused in mud.
As the years have past a not much remains constant, tyre fads come and go, shoes start to stink but these thin bits of mesh with 'reinforced Micromatrix synthetic leather palms' have fought to keep my hands from rubbing against the bars in every cross races I've ridden since year dot.

Then suddenly at the first race of this season, some, nothing-mid-weeker the tip of my finger burst through a small hole in the material. I felt the cold metal of my shifter on my finger tips and it shook me to my core.
My gloves appeared to have finally given up, and without warning, splitting under the pressure of all those gear changes. A slight twinge of sentimentality hit me but then I realised my routine would be compromised.

Some alone time with a needle and thread gave me hope that I could eeek out their existence for one final blow out season. The season when they actually get to taste Belgian soil.

My fingers are crossed.