Cyclocross Champs Shrewsbury – Huw Buck Jones

We arrived at Shrewsbury about 10:30am, enough time to sign on, walk the course, watch the vet’s race and see their line choices.  After all that I then hopped on my bike and went out for practice.  I did 2 laps of the course looking at the technical features and where and when to dismount to carry the bike.  It was a very slow course that required a lot of effort to complete a lap.  This has been one of my favourite courses for the last couple of years and this year’s was just as good.  In between the practice and my race there had been three other races, so by the time it was my race there was a couple of sections where the line choices had changed, which made it a bit more challenging.

I was gridded 12th, which was on the second row and wasn’t too bad as I positioned myself behind Max who went on to win the race.  I had an OK start and moved up to 8th after the first off camber section.  Then at the end of the first lap I was up to 7th and progressively moving myself up throughout the second lap.  At the end of the second lap I was now up to 5th and I was surprised as until now I had not had the best of seasons and would be happy with that result in the end.

I was by myself for the next lap and kept in 5th but at the beginning of the last lap I passed the rider in 4th and caught up with the riders in 2nd and 3rd position.  I stuck with them for about half a lap but then me and one of the other riders pressed on and opened about a 15-20m gap on the other rider.  It stayed like this all the way to the end of the race until we were going down from the grass bank to the tarmac to finish the race, the rider who I had been with, his back wheel slid and he crashed when he was trying to turn and putting power down on the wet tarmac, which meant I was able to ride to the line to finish 2nd in the British Cyclocross Championships.  I didn’t expect this at all after the not so great season I had had.  Now on to the MTB season in a couple of months, I hope I can have a better season than this one.