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.

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The story of my Yorkshire Points Season so far is a tale of ups and downs to say the least.

Starting with:

The Bad - Oakbank School

Never before experienced suffering
For winter cross proper, the heat of the day at the opening round of the 2012 Yorkshire Points Cyclocross at Oakbank School, Keighley, was incredible oppressive!  I find Oakbank a pretty intense course to start with, without having to battle against the elements too.

Two minutes into the race, following a sprint lap of a playing field and a vicious foot climb up a steep and long grassy bank, I was spent.  Lack of proper prep in the fitness stakes, and warm up, along with in the food, and fluid department, meant a very rapid a spike in heart rate and breathing.  The legs simply went!  All that was left to do for the remainder of the race was just cling on best I could.

Fading fast, and lapped several times by people I don't often see at all in a race, let along get lapped by, was rather embarrassing.  Afterwards all I could do was retreat to the car and drink drink drink!

One round to to put down to experience I feel.

The Good - Thornes Park
The story of my life

The next round I 'competed' in was Thornes Park, Wakefield.  It's a good course for me, and I have done well here in the past.  What with its mix of rooty woodland and open playing field type terrain, it's certainly more my cup of tea, and allows more opportunity to utilise my technical abilities.

I was a lot more at home, and the more autumnal weather was far more refreshing too.  Here I managed to ease my self into the back of the pack with some prolonged duels with the usual crowd.  Good honest fun from start to finish.

The Ugly - Temple Newsam

Buoyed by my performance and enjoyment at Thornes Park, it was now time to properly kick start my season, time to start getting ugly, time to start dishing out the hurt...  no more Mr Nice Guy.  It was time to start letting people know that yes, I had actually turned up this season, and that I wasn't going to be an also ran.  The time for action had arrived. 

Temple Newsam is one of my favourite course, and offered the  perfect place to instigate the above.  From the off I was hunting... chasing down my contemporaries, and yes gaining on some.  As with Thornes park, my ability through the rooty slippery wooded sections allowed me to slowly inch forwards, before being blown out on the open grassed sections.  Two steps forward and one step back so to speak.

Giving it the beans in the bends
For the first time in quite a while I managed to overtake, if only for half a lap, my long time racing partner Chris.  It was a naughty move on my part that involved essentially elbowing Chris out of the way on a particularly slippery hairpin!  I realised my boisterous manoeuver was a little unnecessary, and I did apologise after the race.  Chris had the last laugh, however, by cruising past me half a lap later with apparent ease!  I just can't match his power on the open sections.

My points season continues at Myrtle Park.  Another great course.  See you soon.


  1. Good write up John. I need to recap the Yorkshire Points season so far - it is after all 3/4 over as we type with only two points races left...

  2. Very jealous i still have not raced cross this season, but that will change sometime soon i hope. Good write up.

  3. I know Rich - where does the time go?

    Ben - if you're going to spend all October in Thailand, then what do you expect? ;-) As Rich says, there is still Bingley and Tod, for points races, and also Ilkley and Otley locally - see if you can make it down.