Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rapha Super Cross Weekend

Rapha Super Cross Weekend

You’d think racing the same course two days in a row wouldn’t be particularly exciting, but if you’ve never raced a Rapha Super Cross Weekend you’ve never had the joy of seeing how differently two races can pan out. 

Shibden Hall was an iconic setting for last weekends racing, set into the hillside, even the Under 12’s course looked tiring and difficult, while the full course consisted of a twisty, off camber downhill and a long up hill drag to a stairs run up. 

The first race was dry meaning the course wasn’t particularly technical playing into the strengths of the road riders. Lets just say my start could have been slightly better for this race, after slipping my pedal after 20 yards I ended up dead last, I wasn’t particularly phased at this, more irritated that I’d slipped a pedal. After picking myself up I set off through the field working my through the other riders, the course was wide all the way round so I had no problems passing anybody and eventually I made it into 6th position after 1 ½ laps, I then managed to pass Janet Marsden and Alison Kinloch, the leading vet ladies to move into 4th overall, at this point I was starting to tire and I didn’t manage to move up any more places. I was pretty pleased with my placing despite my terrible start, and things could only get better on the Sunday.

Sunday morning and it was evident that today's race would be a completely different ball game, overnight the course had become slippery with the off camber corners claiming victims in the Youth and Senior races, many getting off to run the corners to avoid coming a cropper on the mud. After a couple of practice laps I was feeling pretty confident with the technical aspects, although my legs were protesting on the long drag up to the finish. I managed to get off the start line without hitting the deck and no crashes on the fast and furious tarmac section meant the race was off to a good start. 

I felt pretty good and when Becky Womersley came past I managed to latch onto her wheel and while Becky was clearly the stronger of us on the climbs I could make up time on the off cambers and descents. A first just wasn’t to be though, I couldn’t keep the pace on the uphill aspects of the course and Becky pulled away, but I still managed 2nd, which I was pretty pleased with considering I’d raced the day before. 

As ever thanks to, Raleigh bikes UK, American Classic wheels and Vittoria tyres for helping to keep me 'off' the road this season.

Photos by the talented Jo Allen and Russ Ellis. 

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