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oneseventwentytwo – late starters

oneseventwentytwo – late starters

After a proper break I finished building my ‘cross bikes and headed up to Herne Hill for Round 5 of the London X League…

The London Cross League is where you go to keep some fitness through the Winter – Herne Hill is where you go to prove to yourself if you’ve still got what it takes. I started coming here years ago and loved it straight away – the league has swelled in proportions since then and this is the first weekend I can think of where the numbers have been capped and the field maxed out. Good times? Bad times? I’m not sure, but I made sure I stayed near the front and shouted clearly when we got to the lapped riders – the last time I was here a wavering backmarker broke my ribs so I was keen that there wouldn’t be a repeat performance!

JM c

The gridding seemed good and I got a fairly quick start, following Wilf around the outside of the first corner – he managed to pull his foot out of the pedal, but it didn’t seem to slow either of us down much. Into the woods for the first time I was well placed near enough in the top ten to get on with business.

Senior Video by John MX;

A lap in and suddenly no drive! – I’ve tested my disc brake bike for about six-months in all conditions and never dropped a chain, but it would seem that the rough brick laden surface of Herne Hill is something that wasn’t ever encountered in the wilds of Scotland or the local Sussex trails, so off my chain came! This close to the start [looking at the video] I lost 10 places in the process of getting it back on – bugger.

The next three laps or so were spent reclaiming the places that I lost which I managed to do, but at a heavy cost. I was now seriously in the red, but my bunnyhops were getting slightly better over the hurdles and I was saving a fraction of time over each set. Not having to get off the bike made such a difference, but unfortunately on the big run-up at the back of the circuit I never really had enough space to ride it – too many riders around and too many memories of my last race at the Velodrome!


My aim for my first race back was to finish in the top twenty and hold off being lapped – whilst I achieved the first part, the second part was to be scuppered by Jon Dennis who is just simply on fire at the moment. Very few riders in the whole race managed to stay un-lapped and that’s made more impressive by the large field – I can remember anyone lapping such a high percentage of the race. I managed to hold off everyone else and actually started to get into the swing of things by the end. My last lap felt god in terms of line choice and fitness – I just need to add the strength in now.

Still waiting for my Junior Team-mate’s result but here’s the video of Cameron’s race;


1st Jon Dennis – 11 laps in 59:33

15th Glen Whittington – 01:00:23 at plus 1 lap – out of 103 riders

Video’s be John MX. Photos by Glen Whittington, Cameron Preece, @samholdenphotos and John MX. 

Glen rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. He races mountain bikes, road bikes, TT and ‘cross at local and national level. He receives personal support from Helly Hansen, Wildside Cycles and the.æight.bicycle.cømpany.

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