Wednesday, 24 February 2010
We fielded a team of 4 at Hit the North 2010 in Phillip's Park, Manchester. It was again billed as cross vs MTB, 2 hrs in length and with over 160 starters and a unique vibe.
Winks arrived with his usual laidback style (aka last minute mechanical issues), Alan and Mark were kitted up to the nines in the van and Dunc was late again. Well nearly, despite the best efforts of his dog Buddy's now legendarily unpredictable bowel movements.
Missing in action were Adam L, on duty somewhere else in the country and Rich who bizarely had decided to go ice climbing. In Italy.
Alan staked a claim at the front of the grid, Winkie in close attendance, whilst Mark and Dunc took up more considered positions midpack.
The course was engrossing and absorbing throughout, particularly so for Winkie who had a heavy altercation with a tree, forcing a DNF and necessitating a trip to A and E for professional twig removal from top lip. Mmmm.
Alan seemed to think it was a race (doesn't he always), despite the protestations of half the mountain bikers there who were clearly out for the craic and to save their legs for another day. So much so that he went off like a scalded cat and held on for 3rd overall.
Mark worked hard to pick the field off after a hampered start and came in 52nd, much improved on his race here last year.
Dunc seemed to have a philosophical contra-temps with the whole concept, and confused, stopped on a tree stump to eat a gel and 'work out what it was all about'. Having put such important questions to rights, and armed with a definitive answer (in his mind at least), he resumed his effort and plugged away to finish a little behind Mark. These artistic creative types..........
All in all, a fun way to end the cross season albeit with a mountain bike race! Further musing on the whole sticky affair here!
Eyes down for road, cobbles and classics from this point on.