Wessex CX 23/24: Rd.1 – Clanfield

Cyclocross is back and 5 new forest riders made the trip to Clanfield for round 1. The course was dry, hilly and technical making it a tough but fun start to the season.

Jay Tarrant was up first in the men’s vet40 race. Some great technical riding from Jay with great pacing gave him some very consistent lap times. Jay’s strong ride got him onto the extended podium, finishing 4th.

The women were up next with Emma Shepherd and Catherine Pascoe both riding. Emma was held up slightly off the start line but made it round a few riders on the first two uphill corners. Catherine had a good start getting both New Forest women into good positions. Catherine rode well, despite struggling with the heat, and found herself in a good space in the pack. Emma’s race was a constant battle for position but she held consistent lap times to finish strong. Catherine finished 28th overall and 2nd in her age category. Emma was 12th overall and 4th in her age category.

Jonathan Chadwick made it to the vet50 start but unfortunately crashed out towards the end of his first lap. Despite a nasty fall he did manage to walk himself back to the car and he will hopefully be back racing cross soon.

As always the senior men were last up with Joe Shepherd representing the club. Joe got off to a flying start and was looking good up the logs on his first lap. Unfortunately a lack of riding and racing quickly caught up with him and Joe started to drop back through the pack. Joe was hanging on and was relieved to be lapped by the leader a second time to shorten his race. Despite struggling, Joe still managed to finish 20th.

Overall a good first event for New Forest. Everyone did agree it was a good course and a fun day out even with the heat and the hills.

The second race of the season is next Sunday at New Forest Care Outdoor Learning Centre (near Romsey). A good local event for NFCC and a brilliant course for a new cyclocross riders. The course is just around 2 fields with only a little bit of elevation and nothing too technical. It is definitely the recommended Wessex League course for anyone wanting to give it a go. It would be great to see some more New Forest riders there. Entries are via the British cycling website and close Tuesday night. There may or may not be entries on the day but if anyone does last minute decide they want to give it a go let Catherine, Emma or Joe know and they can always try talk nicely to the organiser. The Wessex league is very friendly with riders of all ages and ability but if anyone is nervous or has any questions just ask one of the regular riders know and hopefully they can help you out.

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