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, 14 March 2014

Hurt at the Haigh

Hurt at the Haigh did exactly what it said on the tin I guess - it was at Haigh Hall, Wigan, and it hurt a bit!

Following news of the demise of the excellent Hit the North, I think everyone was looking for an alternative, so when word spread of a new race of a similar 2hr format MTB/CX format - called Hurt at the Haigh - many jumped at the chance.  It soon filled to capacity once entry was on-line, as the urge to fill the mid winter no racing void was obviously a little too much for many people.  170 entrants apparently.  I'm not quite sure all those tuned up on the day but there was still a bumper line up.  

HtN had built a reputation and delivered a real festival of cycling.  Not sure Hurt at the Haigh was quite there in that department, but it's early days, and the well run event will go from strength to strength year on year I'm sure.

The 4 mile long Hurt at the Haigh lap meandered it's way through the mainly wooded park land of Haigh Hall, and was tough going on CX I thought, and perhaps slightly better suited to MTB.  Indeed the winner, Nick Craig, did his winning on a MTB - I know I got to see him lap me three times!  It comprised mainly loamy soils with some muddy grass and metalled tracks.  It proved a test for many bikes, and some dĂ©railleur groaning and gnashing could be heard towards the end!  Mine thankfully survived!  In fact the X-wing was faultless.

I plodded round in my now time honoured fashion and delivered a top 100 finish and solidly within a group of 3 lappers (approx. 15% of the field) so was reasonably content.  HCtB finishing positions:

Paul Nutton        28th
Emma Osenton   64th
Ali Mills              76th
Ben Parkinson    85th
John Parkinson   91st
Steve Cooper     98th (Mechanical)
(I think that is all....)

A glimmer of a more aggressive attacking me did rear its head at one point during the race.  I got stuck in a group and behind some bloke with his bum crack showing through a bizarre mesh panel in the back of their shorts - quite odd and rather alarming!  It was quickly apparent I was not going to be able to spent much time at all sitting staring at a kinky almost fish net tight clad batty crack - as hypnotic as it was - and summoned the last gasps of air from the bowls of my lungs and elbowed my way by!  Much better - and my reward?  A fully lycra'ed backside.

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