Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011 Supercross Cup Round 2 - Swords

Sure, what else would I be doing on a Saturday morning during the off-season? The 2nd round of the Supercross Cup was held in Swords within a beautiful river valley. The course weaved up and down the valley slops giving the riders with power somewhere to make time (the short sharp climbs) and those with the skills to make up even more (the twisty, muddy descents).

As I rode my first lap of the course I was really impressed – a great use of the valley, great for spectating and a type of cyclocross course (very hilly) I have not ridden in Ireland before – I knew it would be a very tough race but couldn't wait to get going.

Due to my rolled tubular two weeks earlier (and the resultant DNF), I wasn't gridded for this round – 25 riders lined up in front of me. My starts in the past were never the strongest but, this year I have been getting much better and here, there was no time for taking it easy.

The gun fired and the race began – I was able to move up a couple of places pretty quickly but still sat in around 15th or so. The course lended itself pretty well to passing but the quality of Irish CX riders now (especially for the first lap or two) is such that it is pretty much full gas and fast for everyone.

Smiling riding sideways - photo from here
As I finished the first lap, I came through in about 6th. But I could see I was making progress – another lap and I was in 4th. For three or four laps Conor Cambell, Evan Ryan and myself had a close battle – it was good fun – I would make some time on the power sections, they would make time on the technical sections. Eventually, the elastic broke (unfortunately Evan punctured) and I rode the second half of the race in solo pursuit of Robin. I pulled back time on the last lap, but it was much too late.

Like all cyclocross races in Ireland this year (that I competed in anyway), it was another well run race on a great course – I would guess I left a minute or two on the course by not practicing my cyclocross skills, but hey, I had a big smile on my face for the full race and this is when I'm supposed to be taking it easy :)

Results are here, and another report from the race here.

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