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.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Grange Moor Go Cross

After a week off from races the Grange Moor Go Cross was a change in more ways than one. Finally it seemed that 'real' cross weather had arrived and those of us that had been wishing for a bit of mud were 'rewarded'! The venue was a new one making use of a Moto-X course including table tops and a 'pump' section. Unfortunately the preceding weeks damp weather had turned the course into a quagmire of Somme like proportions (appropriately enough for Remembrance Sunday).

CX Mudfest
Several racers took a look at the course and decided not to ride for fear of ripping rear mechs off. Having made the effort to get there and being eager to race I decided to give it a go but with a few reservations: one I was going to ride in a single 'mid block' gear and two; at the slightest rear mech rattle I was going to stop and sort it. The racing was in places very entertaining sliding around in a very 'It's a Knockout' fashion but slight variations in line could take you into very clay like mud which clogged the bike something rotten. I was forced to stop twice, once after mistakenly riding through peanut butter/clay requiring an quick unclogging of the fork and once when my rear quick release came undone which was a more extended affair (I've replaced the quick release now as I suspect it wasn't up to the job)


Both Nick and myself finished without mechanical mishap unlike the eight or so riders whose rear mechs were eaten by the mud. I did feel particularly sorry for some of the 'Go Cross' riders as a few of the youngsters were having a miserable time - not an ideal introduction to cross.


A big thanks to the marshals and organisers for their efforts on such a miserable day. The course itself could do with a bit of a rethink, certainly keep some of the muddy mayhem but it would be nice to have some variety - perhaps the upper field etc if it could be made available? As it stands the I wouldn't be rushing back to do it next year.

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