Wessex Cyclocross Rd 1: Clanfield

Sunday saw the return of the Wessex cyclocross league with the Shepherds making their way over to Clanfield for round 1. A dry but tough course was spread across two fields with plenty of elevation and lots of bumps. Despite some nice downhill sections there was no rest thanks to the solid bumpy ground and endless twists and turns.

First up was Emma in the women’s race and after a successful summer she was determined to improve from last year and picked out a couple of riders to aim for. A bad start meant she had to work hard to catch back up to the competition but some strong efforts and some good riding on the obstacles (after a few tumbles in the practice laps) put her in a good position. The hills however, quickly started to wear all riders out and Emma soon lost a couple of positions after setting off too hard. A final push on the last lap got Emma back on a wheel and she managed one last overtake on the tricky off-camber just 2 corners before the line.Emma finished 13th out of 28 women and 9th in the seniors.

Joe flew the flag for the NFCC men in the senior race. A disaster start for Joe, dropping his chain shortly after the first bend, put him right at the back of the pack. This didn’t stop Joe putting in some super lap times on the first 2 laps and he was soon back with his usual competition. After a big two laps and a lack of recent bike efforts, Joe soon began to crack and it wasn’t long until he started dropping back. Every lap Joe felt worse, and the non-stop nature of the course gave him no chance of recovery. A lot of encouragement from his wife kept him turning the pedals but the legs were losing power. Joe still managed a final push for the line and finished 44th of 58. After lots of food and drink both riders enjoyed the day and are looking forward to a good season.

The next league race is on the 11th September at the New Forest Outdoor Learning Centre and is a great course for first timers as well as being one of the closer events. Information and entry can be found by CLICKING HERE

Other future league events can be found on the British cycling website.

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