Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

NW Cross League Northwich

The first race of the season and the first outing for HCtB happened on Sunday.
With anticipation we had been following the weather forecast all week and watching the rain fall heavy from the skies (well it did in Burnley at least), a change of tyre was required as deep mud was expected.
So a quick email to sound out best tyre choice and crossjunkie comes up trumps with challenger grifo as top clincher suggestion (tubs were his obvious first recommendation!!). With out haste a pair were ordered and duly arrived on Friday.

A pair of school boys

Friday evening was spent at first cleaning and stripping off any unnecessary bits from the bike and fitting new tyres to my cross wheels. As I was standing admiring my bike crossjunkie appears at the front door bike in hand, a brief spot of joint admiration of machinery took place before the crackberry's appeared for photo shoot (images to follow when it lets me download them). So for half an hour or so we move bikes round place them on things to gt the right shot. Will we ever grow up???

The race

Sunday morning arrives with fine but dull weather bikes and gear loaded we set off early to make sure we get registered and numbers sorted etc and allow us to check out the course.
A couple of laps under our wheels and the course was dialled in - but where was all the deep mud??
Promising rain clouds gathered but deposited not a drop we ended up with a warm dry race.
My aim was to get round after having a week of feeling like my legs had turned to lead, but once the first lap was completed I felt good and started picking my way through the field, 5 laps to go and I was sat with a small group feeling pretty strong, my new aim was to sit with these guys until two laps out and ramp up the effort and hopefully picked up a few more places.
Lap 4 and there was suddenly a very lose feeling coming from the rear wheel a quick check revealed a puncture - there were several places on the course that had broken glass.
So that was the end of my race as I don't have any spare wheels.
However it was great to watch Alan flying and see Duncan & Mark finish all with smiles on their faces.
So for the next race a spare set of wheels will be in the pits just in case. The grifos were fantastic I was very pleased with the cornering and traction through the mud.
It was also great to get some many positive comments on the shirts and frame stickers (Dunc all credit), lets hope that at the next race we can have a few more shirts in the pack!!!!

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