Summer Cross Series Round 3
The Bethlam Hospital course is renowned for being a bit of a mud bath during the winter with riders having to run some of the field sections. What a contrast to last nights event, it was a hard, dry, bumpy and fast 8 lap race with an ave speed of 15.4mph.
On the start line Dougie, Shane Ant and Tom were all in close proximity to each other so it was clear there was a race within a race. We got going with a fast ride round the fields over a good clear section for about 800m before there was any thinning of the bunch. All the Wheelers got good starts with Dougie in a group at the front and Shane and Tom close by in a second group
Heading in to the woods for the first time and it was a dismount to get over a log before heading back out and round the fields to dismount at the twin hurdles. A gallop round the football field past the finish line and in to the second wood section where there was a short soft muddy section of single track and roots that needed some respect.
Ant was having a good race with some good riders around him and was in a determined mood to avoid being lapped by any team mates this week. After a couple of laps Tom made a jump on Shane and bridged over to Dougie then rode past with ease and was now stretching out a 5 man group.
Shane the Terrier was trying hard to make up the gap but with the pace being so high it was always going to be a battle. Dougie was having a difficult time hanging on to the group and finally started to fall behind and see Tom move away with his 4 companions on what was to be a fantastic ride by the young lad.
As the race progressed and fatigue stated to set in the bumps seamed to be getting bigger, at this point you have to pick up the effort and try and gain/maintain position. One lap to go and we were all running on fumes with dehydration from the heat a factor that can stop you from pushing the effort and concentrating on holding your line.
Young Tom was the first Wheeler across the line and first Junior!!! then Dougie, Shane and Ant. A very hot dry race and despite all complaining how hard it was we will all be back again for more next week at Herne Hill. Such is the joy of cross racing.
Don’t forget the Cross training session open to all on 16th August. Look out for some evening practice sessions that are being planned for a park near by.