Took part in my first proper cross race (as in 60min and part of winter series. Not as in cold, wet and miserable) in many years for Round3 of CXNE yesterday and got my head kicked in.
After straightening my mech hanger after stupidly knocking my bike over and a half decent warm up were my legs felt good if unspectacular I made it to the start line. As ever, was slightly intimidated by the various carbon tub wheels and embossed skin suits as I’m sitting there on my Sora equipped slugger convinced my rear tyre was going down but looking forward to the ordeal.
Was nowhere near aggressive enough off the start but maintained my position in the group as we headed into the course, which looped around some fields and woods as well as incorporating some of the Priswick Circuit where it was based. A great cross course, if there is such a thing from a mtbers perspective.
Sat in for a bit, messed up my remount after the log jumps but was cornering well (45psi seems about right for a bumpy grassy course) and legs felt like they had a little more to give so pushed on. Made up several places on the 3rd lap but going into the 4th I pushed hard up a small rise, CRUNCH. Chain had slipped in the outer ring and jumped off. Tried to shift back on but it wasn’t happening. Jumped off and somehow the chain had looped itself twice when coming off. After sorting that loosing more than a few seconds and all my recently claimed places, I cracked on.
Noticed the zip had gone from my legs and they felt quite numb/empty in a powerless sorta of way. I kept yo-yoing off the back of a group of 3 but got a nice tow by Paul Oldam as he lapped me, which got me back on. Going into the final lap the front two pushed on, 3rd man tried to follow and I tried to follow him, woefully. Legs had pretty much gone by this point but going into last straight to the line I sprinted as hard as I dared with my worn chainring and I was rapidly closing the gap but he still got me, by 0.2 of a sec (love timing chips, me).
Finished 19th, content with that, was a good ride out and legs felt good after Kielder100 last weekend. There’s loads of room for improvement with a little practice and new rings (which finally arrived today, gits!)
Next one should be in Leeds in a few weeks, hopefully.