With very wintery conditions leading up to the championships and fresh snow the day before forcing the GO Cross event to be cancelled it was always going to be an 'interesting' event! Sadly 'crossjunkie' succumbed to his cold and domestic responsibilities as the family followed his viral lead to leave just Mark T and myself as the 'Belgian representatives riding. Clear roads and a beautiful day drew us up to the Lakes and some truly wonderful views by the shore of Windermere. Check out Jo and Cheryl's pictures to get a flavour of the atmosphere. The organisers had done a great job of clearing and gritting the car park and generally making the venue hospitable. After watching Mat race in the U12s it was time for Mark and me to line up and enjoy what was to come!
A fantastic and varied course with both deep crusty as well as hard packed snow and a little ice kept both the interest and the effort levels high. There was the novelty of the deep snow forcing a running start for most, apart from Yorkshire's CX Peter Pan; Chris Young, who managed to ride it! The start suited me and I got away well, following some good heels ;-) and seeing a few familiar Yorkshire faces around me. Unfortunately this all went wrong soon after we all remounted for the decent and right turn a rider in front went down taking me with him. It was a minor crash and shouldn't have been a problem apart from an inept decision on my part to try and re-mount in the deep snow - oops. No momentum, no re-mount. Riders streaming past, wobble, dismount. Pick the bike up and run to the compacted (and rutted) snow, re-mount clumsily and start chasing! For some reason I couldn't settle into any sort of 'flow', probably due to a lack of snow riding skill. I just kept making lots of little errors each lap, always at different points on the course too, there wasn't even any consistency in my inconsistency! Apart from the zigzags across the meadow I never felt that I could go hard and I seemed to spend much of the race in a sort of no mans land between groups - by the time I started to gain on the group in front the race was over as a result of those rather nippy juniors lapping us before the finish line, they were given all of a minute head start after all ;->
All in all a challenging, rewarding and immensely enjoyable course.Kit wise I was comfortably warm with just knee warmers and a single base layer under the skin suit. The de-icer seemed to work a treat on the pedals and I had no issues clipping back in this week so that's one lesson learned! However plenty of lessons to take away for next time... Results and more photos etc over on the British Cycling web-site.