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, 27 October 2011

CSP Hope Cross

earlier this year at the AGM for Cycle Sport Pendle it was decided to organise a cross race, the silence was audible so I said i would organise it.
We had a contact at West Craven school - Dean the head of PE and he couldn't have been more supportive and really wanted the event to go ahead. the downside we needed the governors stamp of approval which seemed to take an age to get the final nod. In fact we only knew for certain we could use the course in early September.
Alan (Crossjunkie) and myself ventured out one Sunday morning to scope out a potential course on the playing fields available. With some imagination and inventiveness we managed to put together a course that had a lot of grass and a little technical bits in to.
In the meantime Hope had agreed to sponsor coming up with tape, gift vouchers, shit shifter, stickers and water bottles. A night out provided another sponsor as Al and Carl chatted about the event Carl generously stumped up a wad of cash to help us out (many thanks again).
The Sunday before the race the Welsh family, Ian Ashworth and myself went to the school to do a little course prep and found two football games in full swing. We had been assured by the school no one used the fields after early October so we had a free hand. to make matters worse the footballers seemed to think they would be playing on the day of our event! This proved a headache for a few days as I frantically called the school and the organiser of the local football league. It turned out the school didn't know the teams were playing on the pitches and they have never been given permission, the school told us we had booked it so it was ours. Luckily there were no matches planned for the day anyway, but it did give me a few sleepless hours.
Race day and an early start for the CSP team as most of the course needed to be taped, Al and myself made sure it was to plan and made a few last minute changes to give us a longer lap, the off camber sections were a Crossjunkie flash of inspiration and I have to say an evil glint appeared in his eyes!
We had a full day of racing with local pro Ian Wilkinson turning up and not only riding but happily helping with the prize presentation for the kids - true gentleman and he help make the day special.
Pictures and results are on NWCCA website so I'll not repeat them here.
was it worth it??? yes it was we had fantastic help from all the CSP guys and ladies, setting up and clearing the course BBQing when the hog roast failed to show up, getting stakes from various places and returning them to their rightful owners and for cheering on the riders all day.
we had great feedback from riders, spectators and officials with comments such as best event this year and best course.
We already have a few tweaks lined up for next year - no bottle neck at the steps for example and Al has his eye on a couple more sections too!!!
So don't just think about it get it done - Al and I would gladly throw our experiences in to the pot for what they are worth.
Finally it wouldn't have happened without the help and support of the CSP gang, Hope, Carl, Physiofusion, NWCCA, Louise Gore and daughters for lap keeping and riders for taking part.
thank you all and see you all next year

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