CX, Cycling, Cyclocross

#12 London X League

Round 12 | Footscray, Sidcup | 29th December 2013

  • Weather: near freezing
  • Course: Fast, mostly flat, uphill wooded section. One barrier
  • Highlight: my first win!
warmup
Warming up
Photo by Dave Hayward

We arrived early and once I was signed on I had the chance for a gentle sighting lap to check out the course.

The course was set in the Foots Cray meadows and featured long, smooth grassy sections interspersed with more challenging muddy hairpins, a board jump and a wooded climb.

Because of the grassy flat sections today’s race would be less about technical skill and more about consistent endurance and swift recovery from the woody climb.

Although the course was not particularly intimidating or technical there were still sections that required careful control in the slippy mud and fast remounts after crossing the barrier. The uphill section in the wood was singletrack in most places so it would be best not to get stuck behind a slower rider.

3081
Photo by John Mullineaux

Just before the race start I took off all my warm layers, keeping just my casquette (hat) on as the sun was low and bright.

Because the start went towards a wide flat grass section I was confident to make a fast start and began the race well up in the field of men. I gradually lost places as those with greater endurance came past me but I generally held an even and consistent pace over the course. On the third lap I managed to wipe out on a muddy slope so on the following lap I elected to run that section to save time.

footscray
Feeling the burn.
Photo by Dave Hayward

Because of my initial good start I spent the race at the front of the women and concentrated on maintaining a steady pace to stay ahead. On occasions the course doubled back on itself in a hairpin turn so I was able to check how close the chasing riders had got.

I almost lost my first place as I had thought Holly was in second behind me and didn’t realise a Twickenham rider was in between and gaining on me. Fortunately John Mullineaux shouted and I was able to put in a last effort to hold her off.

With the points from this win I now have a strong position in the league and should be able to complete the series in second position.

Video by John Mullineaux

Pos Last First Team
1 Miller Alice Look Mum No Hands!
2 Findley Sue Twickenham CC
3 McMahon Holly Team Darenth
4 Stead J Twickenham CC
5 Burgess Katie Oscar Bravo
6 Loadham Nicola Kingston Wheelers
7 Zomojsko Monika Handleborough CC

More info, full results and rankings can be found at the London X League website

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