Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 Ulster Cyclocross League - Round 2

It was a bank holiday weekend and my choice was to go on 3 long MTB rides, or 1 medium, 1 Cyclocross race, finished off with a long spin on the Monday. I decided for the later and found myself up in Carrikfergus with Greg May as company to take part in the second round of the Ulster Cyclocross series. Before the race, I knew the course was going to be around circles in a field with a bit of a hill – with the rain the past few days I also knew it would be a muddy affair – my first muddy CX race, cool.

The race started a little after 1pm riding up a pretty wet climb. Everyone was vying for position and I just remained in the top 4 or 5. As we neared the top of the hill, I went to the front and started descending at a reasonable tempo, by the time I got to the bottom I looked around (due to the course being in a field, you can see where everyone is really easily) and had a 10 second gap – ehh, didn't expect that. So with that, I continued on at a good pace. Half way through the race I could judge that Lewis Ferguson was about a minute back but looking good. At this point the course was getting really shlompy and putting the power down was hard going (a thing that I now know I don't like so much). As we neared the end of the race, Lewis was getting closer and closer – a frantic last lap seen me finish 5-7 seconds in front of him – wow, a close call.

Being well rested, my HR was sky high!

Lewis chasing me

Not that you can tell from the pic, the SRAM Force groupset worked perfectly

Despite how it sounds, the race course was actually a lot of fun – the deep mud was frustrating but hey, it is Cyclocross, in Ireland, in the winter. The organization went well and warm showers and good food greeted us for the prize giving. My second CX race and my first CX win – the next CX race is the second round of the Supercross Cup being held in Tymon Park, Dublin.

There is a report available here and the great pictures by Andy here.

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