I raced under the HCT Belgians banner for the first time on the 19th at the National Champs held near Ashorne in Warwickshire, though sadly not in my eagerly awaited new kit.
To be honest I was what you might call cannon fodder in a race with seventy two entrants, between them holding one hundred and seven International and National titles.
Race day brought with it a temperature of -12 and a good four inches of snow. Conditions also saw the field on the day shrink to just over forty riders, though most of those were the real contenders. After letting nearly all the air out of my tyres I set off for a few practice laps. A lap was what you might call 'old skool' typified by the lack of man made hurdles but more than made up for by the fence jumps. And the terrain though innocent looking was a maze of carefully concealed frozen solid deep tractor ruts. Oh deep joy.
To the race. Well I was on my own pretty quickly as expected, old they might be but slow they ain't. Lap after lap was a lonely experience that consisted of dropping back of the fast stuff and catching up on the technical stuff. However on the penultimate lap I went down big time, leaving a line of Claret in the snow and my bars and levers at jaunty angles. I did hobble back to the marshals and riders went past me, they did however get me going again with just time for one lap and a chance to catch an old boy just before the line.
I appear to have finished 19th? Though the results only show twenty two finishers! That's some rate of attrition.