A few weeks have passed and the Notts & Derby Cyclocross league has been as popular as ever with the ladies, the last race I competed in was my favourite, Round 6 Alfreton. This is one of the nearest races to Phoebe and I. It is a great race with a little bit of something for everyone, wood, hills, straights and techy bits. The weather all week leading up to this race was typical Derbyshire, rainy and windy making perfect cross conditions, very wet, very slippy and very muddy. Both Phoebe and I favour the muddy races. Phoebe had an amazing race and an excellent sprint finish taking 2 places in the last few minutes of the race. I had a really strong race and won.
After this race there was no relaxing I went straight to a swimming competition, the National Arena league, an important club event that I could not miss despite being caked in mud. For those that don’t know, my main sport used to be swimming. I always do a lot of coaching and work with the local swimming team. The swimming went really well. I won my first 2 races and gave some races away to another team mate, while I went and had a long shower scrubbing the mud off from the Notts and Derby league. Once clean I only had one race left and that was the main relay of the night where the Matlock girls put in quite clearly the best performance of the evening, winning by over a length.
After a busy day like this, I went to visit my parents for rapid kit cleaning and a very large tea. The following day we attended the Lincoln cross league where we used this as a back to back race training day, I came 1st and Phoebe 4th not a bad show at all considering we had raced on the Saturday.
This weekend was the Rapha Super Cross Round 1 at Skipton, it started with an early morning as we drove up north - Phoebe proving herself as an excellent navigator. We had very kindly been invited to race on the Saddleback/felt racing team, as saddleback provide the MBGs with lovely posh bont shoes. We met up with the Saddleback/ FeltRacing team. Scot was very welcoming and kitted us out in some very nice skinsuits. Phoebe had complained all week about being in the elite race. I don't think she really intended on racing at the weekend as she was meant to be resting her injured elbow. However never one to miss out she managed to pull herself together stating that she was rather have a go and be last than not try at all. As our start time neared everyone was seriously warming up, I was doing a few star jumps and annoying Phoebe who was blending in much better than I was as she was pretending to turbo. Generally I prefer a bit of a run as a warm up, guess that’s the triathlete in me.
The aim of the Rapha racing for me was really just to get as high a position was possible. I never imagined I would achieve two 2nd places. The first race was thick sticky mud, off camber slippery corners and some nasty banks, the second course was also muddy and slightly more technical (in Manchester). Both courses suited me, and I had really good starts (thanks to Phoebe bullying me into practising my sprinting) and maintained 2nd for pretty much the whole of race. Annie Simpson was super strong all weekend and won both rounds for Hope. I am looking forward to Alexandra Palace next weekend for the third and final round of the Rapha Supercross where I hope to maintain or improve on my second place overall standing in the series. I have round 8 of the Notts and Derby CX league the day before and intend to use this as a warm up race for London.
Its Phoebe's birthday this week so I think I will be taking her out for some birthday hill reps, that’s what best friends do isn’t it?
Many thanks to Scot Easter for sorting us out on the team and to Purple Harry for their fantastic cleaning products which helped me get my bikes spotless in between the two races.