CX, Cyclocross

SWCX #5 – Escot Park

Photo by Matt Wilson

SJVW | Escot Park | 19th October 2014

In today’s race I intended to focus on two aspects: getting a good start and then staying in second wheel and smashing round.

I had an amazing start. I was so pleased! After the first 10-15 men were gridded I managed to roll straight in behind and get a third row position behind the fast boys. I held my nerve when the whistle blew and off I flew in amongst them all, battling for the first few corners. There were 123 starters in this race!

Photo by Matt Wilson

Maddie Horton came flying up in the first lap to overtake me, but it wasn’t until a couple of laps had passed before Lucy Allen found me.

For the first half an hour I was putting in good laps and although a bit twitchy on some of the more slippy muddy patches I was feeling very positive. I had only lost two places to Maddie and Lucy (and they are super fit so I wasn’t too disheartened).

Photo by Matt Wilson

But then I got hungry and despite having an energy gel, everything went downhill after that. If it had been a 40 minute event (like Nat. Trophy races) I think I could have scraped through in third but as it was I was completely unable to respond to anyone coming past me and quite swiftly dropped through the ranks in the second half.

A large part of this was caused by a lack of energy, so I must reassess my pre-race fueling. Another variable which I think was quite key in this race was gearing. My cross bike is fitted with my old road groupset which, although compact, does not have quite the range that a dedicated ‘cross cassette might have. This meant I was grinding up the long climbs, reaching the top with my muscles expended whereas my competitors were able to spin more smoothly and remain fresher for longer.

Photo by Boris Hutchings

Anyhow, it was an hour of hard work that left me absolutely shattered! But the weather was lovely (I almost thought I should be wearing suncream!) and the grounds of Escot Park were beautiful, forming an ideal location for a ‘cross race.

The almost constant climbing (or at least that’s how it seemed) will have been good conditioning for next week’s Rapha Supercross at Alexandra Palace. Ally Pally is famed for its horrible hill and I will be running up and down it for a joyous hour!

Pos Name Team
1 Maddie Horton Pilgrim Flyers
2 Lucy Allen Fully Sussed
3 Sharn Hooper Mid Devon CC
4 Alison Hooper Mid Devon CC
5 Catherine Kilburn Unattached
6 Alice Miller Look Mum No Hands
7 Penny Allan Yogi
8 Nicky Quant Mid Devon CC
9 Maria Weymouth Mid Devon CC
10 Elaine Mason Mid Devon CC
11 Jill Moran Exeter Tri Club
12 Angela Pike Mid Devon Cc

Full results from each round can be found here.

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