South West Cyclo-X - Round 5 Sun 28 Oct, Penair School, Truro

Was an early start yesterday as we headed down to Truro for Round 7 of the South West Cyclocross series. The forecast was for a cold and wet day.

We arrived in plenty of time so watched the Juvenille and Youth races before getting ready for a warm up around the Senior's course.

The course was really good, making great use of the natural banking around the various sports pitches, providing some tech features which when combined with the slippery conditions proved very tricky to ride.

I'd changed the set up of my bike (see previous post) for this race, swapping the the SID suspension forks for a set of rigid carbon forks....whilst this has made the bike a bit more efficeint to pedal and lighter it has also dropped the bottom bracket height which meant I was clipping my pedals a lot when peddling out of corners.....oh well just had to get on with it :( 

Race time....I was gridded so managed a great start off the line. I fought hard and my pace was good and had no problems keeping with the faster Seniors but I need to work on my mounting and dismounting skills as this is where I was suffering and lost some time and places. Tim Carpenter (eliteVelo) kindly suggested I tuck in beind him as he went passsed so we hatched a plan to use a bit of teamwork to try and reel in the next rider ahead.

In the end I overtook Tim and took the Junior win and 6th position in the Seniors race so pretty happy with that :) Provisional results and full race report can be found here

Was a great days racing on a very good race course so a big thank you to everyone stop Round 8 - South West Champs, Ashburton next weekend....maybe see you there.

Cyclocross Spec Kona Kula

Have changed a couple of things on my Kona Kula XC race bike to try and make it a bit lighter and more efficient for cyclocross...
  • New wheelset - Hope Hoops SP-XC6 - 24 hole Stans ZTR Crest rims on Hope Pro III hubs (1463g)
  • Schwalbe CX Pro tyres
  • 160mm Alligator rotors (70g x 2)
  • Trigon carbon rigid fork (480g)
Net effect is a totally rigid bike that now weighs in at just 18.5lbs (down from 21.5lbs in XC spec) so I'll test it tomorrow and see how it goes and if all goes well I'll race it in Truro on Sunday...stay tuned :)

South West Cyclo-X - Round 4 Sun 7 Oct, Stover

Yesterday we headed down to Stover School near Newton Abbot for Round 4 of this years South West Cyclo-cross Championship and my second race of the season.

On arrival the carpark was already busy which was a good sign as it meant a lot of entrants for this race - 55 racers in the Seniors race.

Did a warm up lap of the track and the course was very open with long straights and not much tech.....the bike felt OKish so I decided to stick with my mtb tyre setup but probably should have changed to my skinny CX tyres.

So time to race....and because of my 4th place finish in the last race I got seeded on the front row of the grid, sweet!

I went off hard at the start and throughout the first lap, trying to keep pace with Matt Loake. This worked for a bit but I was struggling to maintain any speed on the long straights as the ground was very soft and was sapping all my energy.....I really wished I had changed tyres!

I got passed by another rider who managed to tangle bars with me which meant then being over taken by a pack of riders as we untangled so my second and third laps were not great and I was not happy.

Seeing the other Junior riders begin to catch I then settled down and got back on it. I started to pick up the pace again and managed to put in some solid lap times and pull out and maintain a reasonable gap.

In the end I took the Juniors win and 10th place in the Seniors....but more importantly, for me anyway, was that I was only 44 secs beind Matt Loake ;)  Full race results can be found here.

Stover is a lovely race location so a big thanks to everyone for organising another great day of racing!

Pre-race photo

55 Riders line up at the start

End of a fast Lap 1

Lap 2 - Ruined but still charging

Lap 3 or 4 - Getting back on it

Celebrating the Junior win with a wheelie over the finish line

Post race discussions


Dark Woods | Wet Woods

Cyclocross racing tomorrow and didn't want to ruin my legs today so ended up tearing up Dark Woods for while this morning...although with all the rain yesterday Dark Woods had turned into Wet Woods...was pretty good fun though :)