Doncaster Super Cross 22nd October
Jo was off down south for the weekend so no @Hanglebad pictures (just a quick iPhone snap) and a solo drive to Doncaster Keepmoat stadium - not aided by traffic jams on the A1. Once there the set up was excellent and the course most definitely making a Category A standard, three sets of double barriers and lots of steep climbing. Besides the parking, changing etc facilities provided by the stadium there were also a couple of trade tents and a food hospitality tent - not quite up to the high bar set by the preceding weekends festivities (no beer!) but a definite step up from the norm. The course felt very tough, all rideable by the strong boys but involving a one or two dismounts for most of us, plus the barriers. The final steep slope I managed a couple of times before fatigue made running it a more reliable/faster option. Race wise I ended up a bit in no-mans-land and finished mid field in 18th. As Phil Thackry said it was like a big tough Belgian course - if it had been wet it would have been a monster, especially the steep loamy descent! A brilliant race and setting. The turnout was a bit low considering the quality of the event, perhaps suffering with competing events further south and not being a 'points' race. Thoroughly recommended and hopefully next year will see it grow in stature and popularity.
|Paul Oldham on the steep bank|
Yorkshire Points Round 6: Brighouse 23rd October
After the tough climbing of the previous day it was, joy of joys, another hilly one! Another new course with two steep climbs and descents. The first climb was ridable by most but the second was a heros only affair. I managed it once on a practice lap at a constant 'stalling' pace and on another attempt fell off by pulling the front wheel off the ground! That decided it, I was going to 'run' it in the race. Good to see another race with more technical climbs and descents. I got a good start and stuck to the game plan of running the second climb, not being at home to 'Mr cock-up' on the descents and mashing it on the flat sections. I gained a couple of places as the race progressed eventually finishing 9th. Waggey had a bit of a nightmare time with his chain jumping off and he eventually abandoned in understandable frustration. I'd dropped my chain a couple of times on both days trying the lazy drop it onto the small ring just as you hit the hill (non) technique with all the rapid transitions from fast down/flat to steep up. As a result I reckon I might fit a Dog Fang as extra insurance against fatigue induced sloppy technique. No photos as @Hanglebad was still away. Hats off to the organisers again for a very good, tough course and a very rapid turn around with the results, unlike myself with the race write-ups which seem to be running a week late - I'll try to have Huddersfield up before the weekend!