Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

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Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

Postby Simon Hemington » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:57 pm

A brilliant day out today for the 200 plus racers. I heard so many good comments about the promotion, course and helpers. Big thankyou to everybody that helped out from with the signing on, the catering, marshalling, course building ( and dismantling), timekeeping, organising and all the other jobs. Great credit to the club.

The results are here for all to see along with some photos.


I will do a proper post when I have had chance to download my photos and process them.

Simon

ps.
Congratulations to our new club champions - Sam W, Conall, Tom, Sam B and Rebecca
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Re: Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

Postby Simon Hemington » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:58 pm

Hmmm. This might take a while. 176 photos in focus and well lit (67 out of focus rejects). Just goes to prove what a lovely day it was.

I will have to chose the best 50.

In the meantime, loads of other galleries on Facebook.
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Re: Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

Postby Simon Hemington » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:40 pm

Picked out a few photos. Stuck them on the club Facebook page.

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Re: Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

Postby Sam Williamson » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:02 pm

Sunday 14th October 2012 was one of the best days in the recent history of Hemel Hempstead Cycling Club and equally one of the very worst when one of 'our own' - indeed 'our leader' in so many ways, was nearly taken from us.

It seems like a million years ago that we were assembling in the school fields at Longdean on a bright, crisp sunny morning...

A group of us had gone along on the Saturday with the dual intentions of helping set up the parcours but also check out some of the tweaks and improvements and ride a few laps - just to check everything was in order - not in any way trying to gain an advantage for the following day :wink:

I should have known Richard would be there - the consumate pro - along with U16 hopeful Connal and U14 contender Tom - so as well as a bit of work with the secateurs there was a good deal of mud on our tyres by the time we called it a day. I'd had the opportunity to get a bit of startline coaching from Richard - much appreciated - even though he showed me a clean pair of heals as we both pretended we weren't trying too hard (I was).

The youngsters races were well-subscribed but for me the real action started at 11:15 when Connal and Tom were riding the same race - albeit in different categories. Connal's ride was a revalation - always in the first 4 and very close to the leader - he remained strong throughout despite only recently returning from injury. He really gave the Hemelings around the course something to shout about and when he broke away from the Team MK duo to finish in 2nd spot he gave the whole club a lift - not very often we see Hemel riders on the podium - I'm sure it won't be the last time either...

Tom loved the course and the support he got around the course again finishing well inside the top half of the field in his race.

So to the main event - a one-off Club Champs event - and by no means a foregone conclusion with Richard having ridden strongly all season - our previous results being very close. Moreover with it being a single race we all knew a crash, puncture or mechanical could be 'game over'.

The 'gridding' was slightly odd with only the top dozen or so riders names called out then a 'free-for-all' for the other 100+ riders - the 'rows of 8 abreast' turned into 13, 14 or 15 riders wide - a little crowded to say the least. However, the practice from the day before seemed to pay off and my start was much improved from previous rounds giving me a good start to what was clearly going to be a tough race.

As in previous rounds, all too soon I heard an NZ accent in my ear as Richard flew past in his newly-acquired HHCC skinsuit giving me quite a shock and making me realise I should be pushing a good deal harder as we were only minutes into the race.

I soon pulled back ahead and have to admit to having my 'main man' giving me time-checks - 1 second, 3 seconds, 7 seconds etc. etc.

Gradually I put some distance between myself and my chaser and I set about working my way a little higher up the rankings, eventually spotting an MK rider with whom I'd had a good battle the previous week. We swopped places many times over the next few laps and passed a number of tiring riders until I noticed we were getting close to the young and very fit Ed Clemens giving us a real target.

On the last lap I passed the pair of them and led the trio into the last two single-track sections, managing to stay ahead through the woods despite my first and only mistake - hitting a slippery tree root that I'd somehow managed to avoid up until then - must have been pretty tired myself...

I sprinted hard into the final open grass crescent only to get the shock of my life as a younger, fitter and much quicker Ed C came blasting 'round my outside clearly putting out double the paltry wattage I could manage. Still I held off MK guy and was relieved to finish as top Hemel rider on the day.

Gavin, I sincerely hope you read my report some time soon - I promise I'll keep the trophy pollished until next year when I'll be delighted to hand it back to you mate.

Thanks to all the club who made the event such a success - I think we showed ourselves in a very good light.

p.s. Some very good pics of the event on Simon Parker's S P Action Images website

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Re: Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

Postby Simon Hemington » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:18 am

SP Action Images's photos are here


If you are thinking of buying a keepsake then PM me and I will give you a 25% off code.

Simon
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Re: Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

Postby Chrisbro » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:30 pm

Great report Sam & congrats too...and with Simon's pictures and the others now available, a great record of a marvellous day for all the cyclists and spectators..

Chatting away to the riders returning to the pits at the end of the race to pick up their wheels as we cleared up...including the 2nd place guy and corley riders etc...everyone said brilliant course,right balance and great organisation...

I noted a new U14's riding for Hemel was a lad who came to the Olympics go ride event at Longdean and his parents were asking about how to find out about the next CX event or two. So very encouraging.

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Re: Central CX League Round 3 - Hemel Hempstead

Postby NZxcross » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:42 pm

Race report #2
So here we were on a great fine afternoon ready to do battle once more.

The grids were called (This is a fascination to me with 'cross) & not getting a seeding/or deserving of one I settled on a position on the 5th row. Considering they were about 12wide, had some work to do. With a lack of experience I started like a bullet out of a gun. Made up good ground all the way to the dip & dismount. I was stunned to see Sam on the inside & made a cheeky little pass.

It was only short lived but a good racers move anyway. Then it started to all unravel for a while. I had pushed too far into the red too early & started to pay the price. I couldn't hold Sam’s wheel on the long grass section & feel back. The next two laps were possibly the worse time I've had in a while. No rhythm at all & definitely no oxygen. Just pain for company.

Then it all started to get better for me. Sam was now gone so I hadn't really given him much close quarter action. I could see the gap was fairly stable from here on in so was pretty happy with this. I found a good rhythm & really set the best tempo I could. I didn't catch many people but didn't get passed either.

All in all it was a great day out. I learnt a lot about 'cross & all the little things. Just hadn't appreciated how technical the race is. A lot is packed into just 60minutes of riding.

I identified my big issue during the race. On all courses I struggle on the grass, I just can't get it moving & I have no strength but lots of fitness. I tried big gears little gears & sometimes both at once. So I changed my training this week to suit, just three days to see if has helped at all....

To Sam, a great ride & thoroughly deserving club champ for '12. Was great to see you pushing close to the top 20 in the end. I tried to give you the best/hardest race possible so the cup would mean something. I really enjoy riding with you & hope that I'm a little closer next year!!

Cool
Richard
Ta
Richard O'Reillly

Long way from home kiwi........


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