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.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Round 4 Yorkshire Points : Temple Newsam

With a mixture of grassland, woods and a beautiful Tudor-Jacobean house the Temple Newsam CX has a fantastic backdrop for the racing. This year the weather was in stark contrast to 2010 when the car park was flooded and the course absolutely sodden. I'd enjoyed a good result there in the adverse conditions but todays event promised fast racing and a patina of dust rather than oozing mud.

This race also saw the debut of the new Gin and Trombones frame from Van Dessel and The Bearded Man, I'll be writing a review of the frame in a few weeks after its been raced a bit more but suffice to say that it put a big smile on my face at Temple Newsam on its first outing. The Belgian 'Flanders black with yellow' colour scheme and De Leeuw van Vlaanderen on the top tube were approved by Vlaanderen Nicole (and John) who were there taking high risk photos at the bottom of one of the single track descents.

The vets race saw (what I think is) a record field with 105 riders which made for a 'busy' opening lap. I had a reasonable start but then nearly got taken out as we entered the first taped section (along with several other riders) as people squeezed in or misjudged the room etc. Some emergency braking and dodging avoided collisions but also lost a bunch of places. I get the feeling that with such big fields there is going to be a need to have longer 'spread the field' sections at the start of the vets events. If you're faster enough to get the hole shot then its a non-issue but further back there are some initially very fast riders who get a bit 'lost' after 400m. The rest of the race was lovely with good woody single track and fast open grass as well as a nice off-camber 180 which was later to do for Paperthin Ben's front tub in the senior race!

I gradually made up places passing a fair few riders and as far as I recall not getting passed (a sign of a slow start), never managed to catch up to Wayne (York Cycle Works) though. I eventually finished in 17th which I'm happy enough with on a new build bike and post 3 Peaks. Waggey had a good race with a PB placing of 38th which is excellent post 3 Peaks. John was creeping up the order too (79th) and it was good to see Tim (Velocake) racing in the seniors and Tom spectating (Velocake & HCtB) recovering from an unfortunate broken finger. SportsSunday were there taking pics along with Jo @Hanglebads so photographic coverage was pretty much sewn up - though I reckon my pic of Ben gets the "un moment decisif".

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