Friday, 15 February 2013

Scottish Cyclocross Champs

I had my first big race of the year last weekend in the Scottish Cyclocross Champs at Strathclyde Country Park. These were originally scheduled for December last year but got cancelled due to icy conditions. The weather on the rescheduled date wasn't much better, the sleet and freezing conditions made me seriously consider my decision to do the race. But eventually I manned up and got out the car to go and sign on.
Think its fair to say I wasn't exactly looking
forward to the race with a forecast like this

After doing a quick practice lap I concluded this was going to be a very hard race, there was a horrible fire road section followed by mud which was near impossible to ride through and a muddy, technical bit. I wasn't feeling great about it but I would just have to ride it as well as I could, so I got on my turbo to warm up.

I finished my warm up and congratulated my sister on winning the under 16 girls race before getting a quick update on the course conditions and best lines to take from her and heading down to the start. Waiting at the start line was absolutely freezing, even with all my layers on and a short delay in the start time meant I had to wait even longer. Eventually we got lined up, the women were racing with the junior boys so luckily it wasn't too big a field. We got the count down and we were off.

Mud was the order of the day

Everyone went shooting off down the road and then slowed and went all over the place as they hit the first mud section, I was well positioned as 4th woman but was having slight issues with changing my gears because my hands were so cold. Through the section with the chicanes and I was right up on 3rd placed Maddy Robinson's wheel, but at the same time watching Eileen Roe and Genevieve Whitson disappear off to claim 1st and 2nd placed women. I managed to stick with Maddy for most of the race, I would usually loose her through the muddy technical section and up the fire road climb, at the top of which I was seeing stars and feeling extremely sick every lap. But I would make it back up to her on the flat muddy sections. I had a chance to attack early on as she crashed on the technical section but being the terrible cyclocross racer that I am I got all excited and promptly crashed as well, actually leaving me further behind than I had been before. I pushed as hard as I could but unfortunately it wasn't to be and I finished in 4th place. Major congrats to Maddy for a top race!

Maddy pushing me all the way!
However because I'm still a junior I didn't go away empty handed and I actually won the Junior Women's Championship, I think it might actually be the first time theres been one in cross racing, but I was really pleased with how I did considering I don't usually race cross. And after how cold, muddy and horrible that experience was I think I'll be sticking to the velodrome from now on!

Thanks very much to EKRC for putting on the race and everyone that helped out. I've got a few crit races coming up at the end of February and start of March and my first road race on the 17th of March at the new CDNW series. I'm interested to see how my form is after doing so much training over the winter so hopefully I'll get some good results!

Thanks for reading!