Round 8 found us at Northwich for the start of another double weekend of CX. This is a difficult course on a good day but this wasn’t a good day. The course consists of park land with a sunken wood in the middle; the open park had long stretches with switch backs to slow you down but to get into the woodland you had to negotiate two treacherous descents through thick mud with even deeper mud run-ups to get out again.

Holly as ever is first to go and as usual not a great start but it was deceptive to watch as she came past because this part of the course, 200m in, is flat but already cutting up badly. After about half lap and coming up out of the woods she had made some ground up and was in contact with second girl, this continued for another 2 laps when 4th time out of the woods she had got in front and was putting some space into herself and 3rd girl until a trip when remounting after another muddy climb, this lead to a frantic last to try and stay in front. 2nd U14 and overall girl after a well fought race, well done.

 

On to the first disaster of the Weekend, Layla unfortunately got caught behind a crash at the start but was soon making the ground back up on a nice little circuit which included most of the top part of the adult course with long straights and two cheeky descents, just as she was about to catch 2nd place girl she had a bit of an issue and was stood at the side of the track 150m away looking frantic, off I sprinted only to find a pedal had come off, 5mins later after a bit of  frantic effort it was back on but that was the end of her race for a position although she completed the last lap and half to finish, a big shame as a 2nd was looking assured. I still haven’t heard the last of it!

 

My turn and as usual I try and sneak behind the gridded  rows to have a bit of a chance, I didn’t feel and pressure to get a good ride as I still wasn’t feeling great from the previous week. The start was a 200m straight sprint to the soft stuff and then on to the course proper. The usual stampede went off with some riders going right and others going left but with visibility reduced I went somewhere in the middle, I think, and when we got on to the start straight I found myself in about 6th and a little out my depth. My plan had been to get up as far to the front as possible before we plunged into the woods, box ticked then.

This was as good as it got as from here on in I started a steady decline backwards, I felt better the previous week not still struggled on the harder sections. I was descending and running the climbs well but could put up a fight on the open section, this got worse on the last lap when I was getting chain suck trying to defend what was left of my position. 27th today, not the best but, hey hoe, there’s always tomorrow.

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NWCXG round 6 Erias park

 

Round 6 and we had returned to the venue of the 2015 Welsh champs but today was a lot dryer and warmer.

Layla was up first today and I think by the look of her she was eager to prove herself today, she got a great start and immediately got into a fight with the boys at the front and was clearly on one. This continued lap after lap until she got caught behind the traffic and the gap grew between herself and Tom, boy from her class, but she was well ahead of the other girls again and came in 1st u10 girl.

Holly’s race was next and with the ground getting softer it was going to test her already tired legs. The first 2 laps she was able to keep with U16 Ella but by the 3rd lap the gap was starting to creep in but this was understandable, after 40mins she completed a tough and now muddy course although not as bad as yesterday.

capture-3

Right, here we go again. I had a reasonable start today but I could feel it was going to be hard going with heavy legs and so I throttled back a little more than I would normally, this later started to prove the correct thing to do. As the laps started to pass I found myself catch those who had passed me on the opening laps, this continued for a lap or 2 even catching a front runner or 2 in the process as they had various mud clogging issues , I started to feel hopeful of a half decent finish.

With, I think 3 laps to go, I rolled the rear tub off the rim in the woods, I didn’t even look at it I just threw the bike on the shoulder and started running back towards the finish to get my spare unfortunately this enable a fair few people to pass me and then a few more on the last lap when 2 days of racing finally caught up. I was fairly happy with weekend when I consider the previous Sunday and my DNF, I should be OK for the Champs in December.