Wessex Cyclocross Rd. 10: Dalton Barracks

Conditions were challenging in the bitter cold for Round 10 of the Wessex Cyclocross League, with the event held at Dalton Barracks, Abingdon.
The frozen ground began to thaw mid-morning in places where the sun shone and the mens races, which included Matthew Knight and Jay T, began on a course that was not too worrying in terms of ice. However, snow clouds caused the temperature to drop suddenly and significantly during the races and the thawed ground quickly refroze, creating treacherous conditions and causing many riders to fall. Matthew noticed a slow puncture with a lap to go and had to change bikes in the pits, allowing him to continue and finish 44th in the V40s. Jay had a very successful first attempt at cyclocross, managing to stand on the extended podium for his age category in 5th place.
The women’s race followed the Vet 40 men and, before the start, the organiser warned them of the increasingly difficult conditions. Unfortunately, this led to a very cautious start by some riders and resulted in Catherine being held up on the narrow course by riders who were taking it very slowly. Added to Catherine’s general fatigue from moving house only a few days before the race, this meant that her race wasn’t her best, despite finishing 5th Vet 50 woman but only 25th overall.
A lot of riders from all races didn’t finish, so it was a battle to stay upright and away from the worst of the ice.
There is a break in the Wessex League calendar until the new year and the next race is on Sunday 8th January. There are then only two more races left, with Southampton on Sunday 22nd January and our event at Crow being the final event of the year on Sunday 29th January

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