Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers

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Sam Williamson
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Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers

Postby Sam Williamson » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:31 pm

If I was Sir Alex Ferguson I guess I'd be saying "Cyclo-Cross, bloody hell!"...

Anyone who's been following the 'league so far this season will know about my battles with Chris Smith from Team MK - we've been seperated by seconds in pretty much every race thus far and last week I felt I should have levelled the score but my poor racecraft saw Chris take a 3:1 lead by half a bike length. So before the mid-season break (Euros and Inter-Area mean a tempoarary halt in hostilities) I had a chance to claw back to 3:2 - hence my late entry into Round 5 making this weekend a 'double- header'.

We arrived in Brackley - a very pleasant-looking market town - in good time for Tom's race only to be faced with a half-mile walk from the parking area to where the race was taking place. However, arriving at the venue we liked the parcours that had been laid out in a smallish park area - mainly short grassy banks with lots of zig-zags and only the one hurdle - no room for a rest of any kind though - another tough test.

I'll leave Connal, Richard (and maybe Tom) to report on their races but mine seemed to take on a familiar feel from the whistle - fairly lousy start, leaving me 10 or so places behind Chris and half a dozen behind Richard. So once again I set about clawing my way through the field to assume what I thought was my rightful position...

This week the chase took a good deal longer than previously - I didn't feel great in the first few laps and progress was slow - eventually I tucked in on Richard's wheel for a while which gave me good shelter and he also gave me every opportunity to pass - thanks buddy!

I'd been timing the gap between Chris and myself for a number of laps and it seemed to stick at around 10 to 12 seconds - I just didn't have the 'oomph' necessary to get close - I was beginning to regret all the mouthing off last week - maybe he really was fitter than me after all...

The support I was getting from the Hemel massif was immense and kept me riding at 100% - with 2 laps to go I seemed to be making progress again - metre by metre, second by second - stiil very much touch-and-go as to whether I would catch my quarry. As we approached the end of the penultimate lap I was half expecting to get lapped so I gave it all I had in case the sprint came a lap early as last week - however we just held off the leader and started our final lap proper.

Passing the pits for the last time the Hemel support was even more vociferous - "make him suffer at every opportunity!", shouted Richard; "this lap's for Gavin!" shouted Chris - nice calls both of you :)

I was hurting, he was hurting; but I guess he was hurting just a little more than me as when I passed I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing - sprinting out of every corner, never letting up for a second. I flew the final hurdle and got to the last hairpin ahead - a final 'balls-out' sprint to the line saw me home and punching the air as if I'd won the whole damn race :roll:

So the score is now 3:2 and all to play for at Icknield in 3 weeks time...

...not sure I've got a whole lot left for Ally Pally tomorrow - I think I might need the 'tequila shortcut' just to get me round... :D

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Sam Williamson
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Re: Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers

Postby Sam Williamson » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:00 pm

And now a few words from Tom:

I had a great race as there was a very small field of riders.
Tom Durkin (my target for this race) I was right up with him and in front of him at one point until I came down in a muddy corner :oops: . I spent the rest of the race trying to get back to him about five people passed me in the crash. I took three of them back but never reached Durkin but was still happy with my result 5th :D !

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Paul Thomson
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Re: Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers

Postby Paul Thomson » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:40 pm

Well done both of you. Sam, this shows perserverence does pay off, and Tom, it shows that you can do it but with some better luck you could have been in with a shout of taking your target person too.

Paul Thomson
Racing Secretary

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Re: Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers

Postby Chrisbro » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:07 pm

Needed a lie down when we got home to recover from what were some exciting individuals 'races within races' across all the Hemel riders taking part in their races...must invest in cow bells :idea: to save the hands in future

Conall's report, especially commissioned for anyone who might laid up in a hospital right now :) below

“After the horrors of last weekend we arrived at the race course with two pedals on my bike and hoping for a better course. After a bit of confusion about where to go we arrived at the course. We were welcomed with a wonderful course with no let up. Unfortunately because of the confusion of where to go I couldn’t do my usual practice lap so lined up on the grid (first to be called) hoping for the best. After a decent start I found myself in the lead after half a lap but was swamped by 4 riders, including a couple of second year Under 16’s. After managing to get my front wheel stuck in a fence I found myself stranded between 4th and 6th. This gave me a much needed wake up call and I put my head down and bridged to 4th. I continued to ride hard and finished 4th overall though I found myself on the podium as 3rd U16, 1st and 2nd u16’s were both 2nd year u16’s, as the rider in 2nd was an U14.

Also well done to Tom with an incredible ride finishing as 5th u14!

We then stayed to cheer on Sam and Richard, both putting in excellent rides. Richard only just missed out on getting another lap and Sam put in an incredible ride to beat his rival in the Vets.”

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Gavin Atkins
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Re: Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers

Postby Gavin Atkins » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:57 pm

Nice one guys that is really touching reporting! Really appreciated

Nice fighting spirit Sam - that must have damaged some morale ;)

Well done Tom for getting up and continuing after the crash - that takes guts 8)

Nice work Connal for continuing to make progress, you keep it up!

A good day for HHCC, that makes me happy :)

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Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers - A Kiwi Version

Postby NZxcross » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:04 pm

Hi all,

I'd like to start my race review post with an apology this week. The support & bond that is starting to build amongst a small but dedicated team at HHCC is starting to be infectious. I believe when you receive something, you should repay it back.

Our Saturday didn't start out too flash. A bit of kiwi inexperience I guess. Firstly, when I plugged the route into AA Route finder it said the best way was the M25/M40. Then I didn't really factor in the Saturday morning traffic. Dooh. So after one crash on the M25 & an extremely slow M40 we didn't make it to Brackley to just after 12PM. That meant that I didn't see any of Conall's or Tom's ride. It’s a bit poor as they stay on after their rides & support us so well. Sorry guys, I'll do better at the next Central league round. I do enjoy watching you guys on your rides, brings back good memories from my younger days.

Got myself entered & changed. Was a bit all over the place & didn't really do a great warm up. Did a sighter lap & thought it would be hard but might be okay for me. As a xcross course I thought it was okay, but lacking in any single track or any sort of straight for the H.P. guys. But way better than Didcot.

Gridding seemed to take ages. But seemed to be a very fair concept used. Oh it’s by another Kiwi I'm told so no wonder......

A small chain ring start which was unusual, but got a great start again. I thought to myself, I bet everyone goes in hard to this first corner & will end up out wide. Yep that’s what happened & took a few on the inside. Again got the better of Sam at the start, but wasn't getting too excited as we know by now Sam is a slow burner.

After a lap or two really started to like the course. It negated my lack of H.P. on the grassy straights. I really concentrated on my skills & accelerating hard out of each corner. I was very happy with my corner speed, I only lost it once on an off camber job. I'm still a little out of control as I hit at least three coarse markers at the base but another with my knee. That hurt for sure.

It took Sam a few laps to bridge up to me & I knew I was on a good one. I communicated to Sam that his main MK threat was just up ahead & I would go as hard as possible for the next lap, just let me know when you wanted to pass. But unlike in previous weeks when he did no major gap was pulled. In the end I think it was 20-30sec, so an improvement for me.

The leaders just got me on the final two bends, I was a bit disappointed not to make the final lap but very happy with an improved performance. Game wasn't finished for our Sam though. The MK guy is no push over & credit to him as he is a real racer indeed. I saw Sam coming down the hill & being hotly pursued, but he was hurting big time. A quick call to Sam 'Make him hut out of every corner'. My thinking was well that isn’t gunna hurt Sams sprint but I know it will his. Anyway Sam did a job on him & turned in a nice little sprint too. M Cavendish would have been happy with the 'V' salute.

I was rapt with my 26th place, Sam into 22nd. It was unbelievable how hard we both had to ride to get these results. There sure are some tough cookies out there.

Will be an interesting week now that there isn't any daylight after 4.30PM.

Richard O'Reillly

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

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Sam Williamson
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Re: Central CX League Round 5 - A5 Rangers

Postby Sam Williamson » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:53 pm

Nicely crafted report Rico - you had yourself a fine ride and your words on the last lap spurred me on for sure - cheers :)

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