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, 16 August 2013

Yorkshire Summer Cross Round Up

Malsis School, Keighley

My thoughts on the opening round at Malsis School can be seen here.

Wharfe Meadows, Otley

It's a good little course at Otley.  It's essentially around a split level playing field - providing some short but steep little climbs/descents - with a small wooded section to one end.  A dry and warm period of weather ensured the track was hard and fast.  However, a little shower towards the end of the race turned the grass to glass, and spills and thrills ensued.  There was a great Team Here Come the Belgians presence and the evening was was great fun.  Another massive field (127 finishers!) meant no points for John Boy again!  But it's the taking part at the end of the day that counts isn't it?

Still smiling post race.  With Ali, Carl, Rich, John (me), Nick and Adam.  
Brigshaw School, Kippax

Photo courtesy of Neil Hendry
I've raced at Brigshaw a good few times now over my 3yr cyclocross racing career, but always in the clockwise guise.  The latest summer cross round was run - wait for it - anticlockwise!  I can sense the  anticipation and general edge of seat sitting....

To cut a long story short, it was great - just as great as normal.  The additional stair climb was a nice touch, and the sand pit - which is normally approached on the flat - was at the bottom of a slight decent, so was hit with a little more pace!  Squirmy squrimy.

Warm and dry again - yes it has been a lovely summer hasn't it - equals fast, hard cornering and being on the ragged edge for much of the race.  Also, the more modest field of 100 finishers produced some points.  8 in fact!  And, as it turns out, my only points of the season.  A bit of a poor do, but at least I made it on the leader board - I was getting worried.

Killing Hall Moor, Harrogate

The final round of my Yorkshire Summer Cross campaign was fought at Harrogate.

Similar warm, dry, hard and fast racing conditions presented themselves at Harrogate, as per many of the rounds this years Summer Cross.

Harrogate is a fairly flat and open course, with a longish lap.  A couple of techy sections are added but nothing too heavy.  As such, it's another quickie.  I thought I felt pretty good and was fairly motoring along, and tussling with the usual crowd, but finished pretty low down in other bumper field of entrants, so was out of the points!

However, the biggest talking point of the race, perhaps, was the testing of the new electronic timing system, which is to be used, for the first time I understand, during the Winter Points Series starting in September.  A little transponder attached to the ankle gives a little bleep on crossing the timing mat - and that was it - full individual lap times etc.  Pretty groovy, but it did highlight my short comings even more, and showed I was lapped, about four times I think it was, by the winners!

Onwards and upwards I guess....

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