X4.022 – FINALLY.A.CROSS.RACE
The weather finally behaved as per the cyclocross script and Addington Park proved to be the perfect place for a ‘cross race – unfortunately no-one told my legs…
Last week I had a whole bunch of excuses up my sleeve for a naff performance at the Rapha Supercross – some of them valid, some of them not so, but all of them just excuses. The bottom line was that it was a good course, with a bunch of good riders, but on the day, I wasn’t one of them!
But, after a week on holiday, too many cream teas and too much beer I just had fun riding my bike and then made the best of the day by watching the elites do there thing. Cheers to Rapha for continuing there support for races at Ally Pally.
Since then my week’s consisted of trying to shoe horn in as many short sharp training sessions as possible. I’ve felt completely knackered after every one of them and a mid week crash didn’t help much either, but with four Sunday race days on the bounce I had no option but to work hard.
A practice lap of the Addington ‘cross course proved that my spare bike had completely the wrong tyre on it. After a couple of race laps I’d proved to myself that my race tyre wasn’t much better! Once it had filled with mud it just wouldn’t clear and it’s obvious that I need to look at this during the week.
I had some good battles whilst the tyre was working and then just hemorrhaged places once it was clogged. A bike change at three quarters race distance did much to solve this and I re-passed ten or so riders. I knew, like on the race bike, the spare bike would suffer once it started to clog so I pushed as hard as I could right away – maximum attack and then defend position for the last lap or so.
The tactic worked and I stayed ahead of a load of riders who I’d been fighting with for the entire race. I’d proved to myself that my fitness and strength were not too bad, almost where I wanted them to be – now I just need to evolve the bikes a little! Awesome course from Phil Glowinski and the VCL guys.
Michael Butler (Bowlfish/Bontrager)
Liam Earl (Corridori)
Phil Glowinski (VCL)
Photos by Pip Jenkins, Glen Whittington and Glyn Durrant.
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.