It’s still too hot, still too dry, but who cares when you have a new toy to play with?…
Hog Hill lies on the north-eastern edge of London and I’d spent the week praying for rain. The weather report suggested storms, but what we got was hot sun – less than ideal for me but the same for everyone. One thing I could have done better in my preparation was sleep. A couple of laps in and I was struggling with just being too tired.
My new bike was working well – I’ve just finished work on a custom Boardman CXR race bike with Di2 transmission and hydraulic brakes. Having only finished building it the day before the race, I was expecting to have to swap back to the older CX Pro at some point and after four laps it was clear that the tubeless tyres hadn’t quite had enough time to seal themselves up. Pleased with everything else I quickly pitted and swapped bikes to finish on.
I only lost a couple of places in the process and was in sight of the group I was in and together with Wilf Sinclair (Pearson) we made our way back up to James Waddington, Dan Braid and Stuart Spies. The heat was really playing tricks on me now but I managed to get a bottle handed up to cool down with – once again the rule on this had been waved due to the heat.
On the penultimate lap I could hear the bell ringing early meaning that Ben Sumner (Beeline) was closing in on lapping the whole field including me, but I made it through in time for the last lap. Feeling okay I knew I had to push hard to gain the last few places, but this lead me to make a crucial mistake. Yet again due to a lack of concentration I punctured. The flipside of Sumner being so fast was that there weren’t many people in the race left to overtake me so it was well worth running home, eventually swapping back to my new bike for the finish! A top 20 position made my run worthwhile and kept my season alive, if a little behind where I’d like.
Ben Sumner (Beeline)
Matt Holmes (Arctic)
Matt Clements (Cyclelab)
19. Glen Whittington (SDW)
Photos by Pip Jenkins, John Mullineaux and Paul Burgoine.
Glen rides a pair of Boardman Elite ‘Cross bikes in the London CycloCross Association League. He rides a Colnago Master and races a Scott Addict at local road races, all of which are available via The Velo House. He races a KTM Aera Pro 27.5 hardtail in the UK National Points Series and the Eastern XC Series. He receives personal sponsorship from Helly Hansen, KTM and THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY. He’s also supported by Lazer helmets and Boardman Elite. The KTM team is supported by Continental Tyres, Torq Fitness and Four4th Lights.