Central League Round 8 - Sonning Common, Reading

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Chrisbro
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:23 pm

Central League Round 8 - Sonning Common, Reading

Postby Chrisbro » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:50 pm

A return visit to Sonning Common for the Central League, frosty start but clear skies and sunshine helped avoid too much chill.

Plenty of activity in the pits as Conall's report shows, but overall more positives for Hemel riders.

"So after lots of driving and a family get together / christmas lunch the day before I wasn’t perhaps as well prepared as possible for such a tough race on an incredibly unrelenting course. The course was nice with some muddy banks which were far quicker to run, some lovely long straights, a few nice turns and even a bit of single track in the woods.
After a fast downhill start I lost contact with the leading rider from MK. After only a couple of minutes I felt my left brake hood wobbling and I realised it was loose, it continued to loosen and I realised I’d have to pit and that meant the MK rider gained more time. Overtaken by the rider from Hillingdon as I pitted, I managed to close on that rider on the straight but he latched onto my back wheel as I overtook and I couldn’t loose him.
On the second lap I pitted again to get back on my best bike (which had been fixed by my Dad and another Dad in the pits :D ) and as we reached the muddy banks I had about a 3 second gap and managed to pull another 10 by running the entire section. I then put in a big dig and cracked the Hillingdon rider. When we reached the top of the first long straight I had about 15 seconds and I was pulling further away. I continued to accelerate and pulled it out to 30 and I kept going, after the MK rider…and I did close the gap a little on the final lap.
But as I went through the woods for the final time I heard a pop and realised I’d punctured on the front. I kept riding until the hurdle but was worried I’d damage the rim because it was leaking fast. I ran to the finish line from there – my dad had already left the pits to meet me at the finish line :roll: -and luckily I had built up such a lead on the 3rd place rider that I kept my 2nd place overall.
Tom had a good race and despite puncturing and having to pit twice, kept battling to the end. Sascha had mechanical problems too.
Overall it was a good race, 2nd place in the U16. :) I need to push harder in the first lap and gain some power for the long straights.
We stayed on to cheer the Hemel riders. The main race was wonderful with Sam and Richard both putting in great rides and really gaining some points."

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NZxcross
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:39 pm
Location: Hemel Hempstead

Central League Round 8 - Sonning Common (The boys)

Postby NZxcross » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:03 pm

Hi all,
Made it to this race event in good time so got see a larger portion of the boys race than normal.
Stace & I got right into this race. We sighted Conal first & he was hunting down the MK rider who had a small gap. Chris was busily repairing the number 1 machine after a small issue. I thought Conal was on great form this day. He is a high cadence type rider which is exactly what you want him to be at his age. Kinda freaky as its something that I just can't do....
Conal had his hands full due to extra time spent changing bikes with another rider. How Conal got rid of him with repeated attacks was a joy to watch. Seriously impressive stuff dude. Once the gap was opened it was never gunna come back together. Another great ride.

Tom had a similar type of ride really with a mechanical which slowed his progress severly. He punctured a very long way from the pits indeed. Now this guy is only 12 & took it on the chin with a maturity not meant for his age. Instead of giving up, which would have been valid, he shouldered his bike & ran it out!! Now not walking pace, he ran it out. Had to admit to having a watery moment as this was a fabulous effort. Swapping bikes he carried on with gusto. Bravo Tom, it may not have gone your way but you were a true legend.

There was little Sacha present again, which was fabulous to see. Now this guy is even smaller than Tom. He was riding real strong when we saw him but was having some trouble with the gears. We didn't get to see him again but am sure he finished. Must catch up with his parents at the next meet to make contact.

Another great effort by all three of you in the face of adversity. Keep going guys, you are our future!!!

Ta
Rico
Ta
Richard O'Reillly

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

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NZxcross
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:39 pm
Location: Hemel Hempstead

Re: Central League Round 8 - Sonning Common, Reading

Postby NZxcross » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:47 pm

Hi all,
So we arrived & straight from the off I liked this coarse big time. After last weekend spent in the mud & a major kick up the arse from Stace we decided that a shift in priorities was needed. With only three events to go in my season I didn't want to finish it disillusioned. So I decided that no matter what, I had to enjoy actually doing/participating to take those memories through to next year. This is hard for me as I'm a pretty competitive little chap.

After the tire testing had gone well in the torrential rain of last Monday I knew it would be better. So with a bit of confidence would things be different?? After a bit of a roll on the road, (I like to get a bit of rhythm going first) I made my way onto the course. You beauty, due to the low over night temperature the ground was very icy. This made it feel very fast to me & you could get a good roll on. Earlier in the season this course wouldn't have suited me due to the big long straights, but not today, it was going to be made to be my friend.

The tires were great, far from perfect, but no sliding around & a bit of control in the corners. I'm a confidence person & nothing really happens without it. Biffed it in the warm up trying to be a hero in an off camber section heading up hill. This snapped into race mode as I recalled the situation at Ickneild School as that crash early cost me valuable ground/places.

On the grid & ready to go. 5th row so was happy with this. Whistle went, was slow getting my foot in which is unusual for me. I got into it straight away, passing a lot of riders, why were they going so slow I wondered. Got to the first turn, AMAZING, not only got around it, but pedalled the entire way, passing a whole bunch more.

Game on, was a man on a mission. Wasn't bothered if my flash in the pan was only going to last a lap, was going to make the most of it. But I just kept on trucking along. Had a scary 2nd lap as I paid for the fast start. But then started to settle down. Started to get past by a few riders but managed to catch a lift on all of them, which did help. Another rider came past & he was puffing a lot as I made it hard for him to pass. Made him ride the length of the uphill straight into the wind. At the top was a section that I was very good at. Timed it to perfection, had full power on & snuck between him & the coarse marker. It was tight but never touched him, was a hard but fair move. He wasn't happy but I couldn't care less. Burnt him off & never saw him again. Cool, happy days.

Was a great deal in front of riders that normally are in front of me. But things were changing; the coarse had taken a beating & was putting up a protest. The top icy layer was gone & now were into the mud. This made it a lot harder but I kept the hammer down. Brother Sam pulled alongside with 1.5 to go. Managed to stay with him for 1/2 a lap but just lost contact on the run section. Had a better last half lap & finished strongly again.

So finally stoked, great ride great day. This season has been such hard work; it’s always nice to get a bit of reward. Was a busted man at the finish, close to spewing so new I had given a lot. Not bothered were I finished as it is just a number, I had achieved my goal by enjoying myself.

Till next time
Rico
Ta
Richard O'Reillly

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

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Sam Williamson
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:23 am

Re: Central League Round 8 - Sonning Common, Reading

Postby Sam Williamson » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:45 pm

I guess it's about time I made a comment on Sunday's events, however after such comprehensive reports from Conall and Rico there's not a whole lot to add - thanks to you both for the kind words - Tom is stoked with the support and it has certainly helped him get over the disappointment of the mechanical.

Just a word on Tom's race though; after a blistering start he was going real well until a puncture just after the pits meant a long run with the bike. I was in the pits with a spare wheel when 'Mac' from Twickenham CC came running over pushing one of the Go-Ride Pina spare bikes shouting 'there's a lad out there pushing his bike'. He had no idea who Tom was, he'd just seen a young racer in trouble and immediatley grabbed him a spare bike and legged it to the pits! That tells you everything you need to know about the true spirit of 'cross in the Central League - everyone helps everyone else - many thanks Mac :)

My race was certainly less eventful - I felt somewhat sluggish and unlike Rico didn't really like the course - I loved it last year but what had been a nice quick grass surface had been turned to mush by the rain and subsequenty frost. I was also a little over-cautious about punctures and was running too much tyre-pressure meaning cornering was severely compromised.

I was aware Rico was having a blast and was convinced for the majority of the race he would finish in front of me - not that I would have begrudged him the win - his presence in the races all season has been a very welcome addition to an already enjoyable series.

Once again, Rico gave me a 'target' in the absence of some of my regular adversaries and our 'inter-club battle' meant we both passed a High Wycombe Vet in the latter stages who had been threatening my podium position in the League - cheers buddy!

This Sunday is Regional Champs with Conall in Basingstoke - at least if I manage to stay off the tarmac at Hillingdon on Saturday :shock:

Onwards!


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