Sarum Velo Cx Season So Far has been to be blunt Amazing with lots of New riders Taking to the Cycling Events in the Wessex Region Ive asked all the riders to do a Brief Summary of there seasons So Far (brief wasnt in some peoples vocablery so you may Have some Reading to Do
John Ellis (Hairdresser John as we know him )
I would like to say that the Sarum Velo cx crew are amazing. I have done two races so far. The amount of support that I have had is been incredible. I have met so many new people on this cx journey of mine . I suffer from a disease called Lymes . It can be tough for me sometimes and won’t be at every race . This disease is spreading like a wild fire . You need to panic but when you go out walking , running and cycling off road please check your self for ticks . So moving on from that I just want to say a big thanks to my cx crew and I am lucky to have these people around me . Big up to cx crew. See you Sunday guys . 🚴
Nigel Benham (not such a newbie but hes made his come back )
(Waiting for Nigels write up) so will add a few of my own .
Nigel has been a instumental member of Sarum Velo from day 1 as is Daughter and soon to be mother Emily our own world Champion ) Nigel and Emily both are very keen Cyclists and compete in cycling orienteering and also organise events so if you ever fancy having a go at that Speak to Nigel.
Chris MIngo ( sorry chris no pic yet)
I have really enjoyed my first couple of races. I have wanted to have a go for a long time, I have sat at home watching Wout Van Aert on the tv thinking, I fancy having a go at that. I am originally from a BMX background and raced a lot when I was younger then did some Ironman races, triathlons and have done some big endurance events on the road bike.
I found the last event quite tricky having not had chance to ride the track beforehand but gradually got into it. I’m struggling a bit with clipping back in with all the stones and mud. I have a few questions and look forward to getting to know some of the others in the club to find out more. When I did the Paris-Roubaix sportive this year I rode with a couple of Belgian lads who were on cross bikes and that really did push me to get one of my own for when I put the road bike away. When I rode Basingstoke I really enjoyed he track and got faster every lap. I am looking forward to Sparsholt which will be my next race. I am always looking for areas to practice in between races too.
The Seasoned Campaigners
Pete joined the club last year and has been racing cross with us he races in the 50s Plus wessex league races last year he was battling away this year petes been doing the same thing this season and great to see him turn up and race .keep up the great work pete
Lindy Brazier Larkin (or Larkin Brazier) or Brazier (Sarum Velos Pocket rocket)
After a busy summer of bike touring and summer CX racing, It was time to get back “on it” for the winter season. Pre-season nerves as always for me (the guys will tell you what I’m like..) but I had a word with myself for this season and told myself not to put as much pressure on as last season. Yes, I did have a good season result (my best so far in fact!) but I beat myself up later in the day if I had a bad race. So far the plan has paid off!! I haven’t had the mid race panic, I’ve been able to push on during the race and if I gain a place it’s a bonus. I’ve had some good starts and have found myself up with some of the women that were beating me last season. All the races I’ve done have seen good weather so have been fast but fun. We head to the notoriously muddy Southampton round this Sunday (21st Oct) so fingers crossed I can keep my performance up. I’m not sure how long it was last, but podiums for all my races so far and very happy to take a senior win this season. Pleased to be flying the Sarum Velo flag once again! Our little Sarum Velo army is growing as we now have a team mate in most of the categories which is great to see. We’ve got a great team and the support for each other fantastic. Let keep this up!
David Brazier (Single Speed Guru)
My results so far this season in the Wessex League are 13th, 13th, 17th, 14th, 13th. Given that last year I was hovering around the mid-20’s I’m really happy with these. To sum each race up in a few words:- Newbury – fast, flat, bumpy. Stayed with Al and 2 others for most of the race but a slip on the penultimate lap saw me lose contact with the group.(Gear 40×16) Basingstoke – uneventful race for me, had a good start but found myself in no mans land so it was just a case of staying away from those behind me. (Gear 40 x 16) Reading – always a hard race. Probably the worst suited course for single speed as there are some really steep climbs and some fast flat stretches so gear choice is difficult.(Gear 40 x 18) Standlake – new course. Fun singletrack through the woods and a very bumpy outfield section. Hard to overtake for much of the course. Lap times were good but eventually the bumpy course took it’s toll and I tailed off over the last few laps. Happy with the result though.(Gear 40 x 16) Droxford – love this course, hilly, muddy, windy, cold. Everyone thought I was mad on a singlespeed but it works well on that type of course. Even managed a one-bike day in muddy conditions. Spent much of the race with Al and another lap would’ve likely seen us both move up a couple of places as we were gaining on those ahead of us. (Gear 42 x 18) Good start to the season with a definite improvement in form which will hopefully continue to the later season races which I normally do better in. A top-10 would be nice at some point but that won’t be easy given the strength of the field. Also happy with my choice to go 100% singlespeed this year – not for everyone but works for me. Good to see the Sarum Velo CX team growing and some great results from everyone especially with Lind on the podium at each race and Al cracking the top-10.
Alex Watkins (the Seasoned Campaigner SarumVelosownWordsworth)
First Half Season Review
Newbury Racecourse Rd1
A new venue for the league brought some fast racing over a disused golf course in the centre of the race circuit with a few features and long windy straights with the added warm temperature in mid-September not your typical Cyclo-cross conditions.
Practice went well with plenty of time spent deciding if the Sand pit was rideable or quicker to run and plenty of chat on how bumpy the circuit was.
So, after the pre-race snack of ready salted crisps and a banana I was ready to start the season alongside follow team mate David in the senior category. (Little did we know that this is now a regular thing as I think this is the key to our season)
Gridded 12th after last seasons overall I was on the second row giving me that reassurance all I had to do was start fast (which I’m not very good at). Whistle goes and we are off out the corner of my eye I see David wiz past blinding start as always and ultra-reliable in that department our David is.
After the first half of the lap I’ve managed to get onto David’s Wheel we’ve managed to find ourselves stuck between the fast guys and our usual rivals, I ride alongside David and give him what I fought was so good instruction ride as hard as we can between us and we’ll be fine currently both sitting inside the top 10 this went on for a lap or so.
Around a quarter of the race has now passed and we find ourselves catching Tom Nightingale we catch Tom and he sits on our wheel another lap passes and we find ourselves in a group of five.
Me, David, Tom Nightingale, Sam Edwards & Scott Chappell this group of five stayed together until 3 laps from the end when David made a slight mistake and fell out the back of the group. Next to fall from the group was Tom, Tom decided to attack the group with 2 to go and left us all chasing only for him to crash out from pushing on to hard.
Down to the final lap of the race and it’s Me, Scott & Sam. I end up getting jumped by the pair of them three quarters of the lap gone. So, I came in 12th on the day overall happy with that performance.
Lesson of the Day: Don’t sit on the front the whole race.
Basingstoke – Stratton Park Rd2
A venue we previously visited last season and a favourite of mine that offers a bit of everything on open park land with a few off-camber sections. This week the weather isn’t so great and is more like the cross races you see in the videos.
Practice was great fun slippy, Muddy and raining. We practiced as a team which near enough always happens taking plenty of time to ride the technical sections and deciding what’s best and hopefully quashing Lindy’s worry’s our Lindy likes to worry and get nervous but her race results say different.
So, after the pre-race snack of ready salted crisps and a banana I was ready to do it all again alongside follow team mate David in the senior category.
Gridded 12th again this week and on the second row again. I managed to get the start I’ve always dreamed of maybe the mid-week practice did me good.
This time after the first few laps nothing seemed to of changed currently in 8th with the company of my rival Dan Atkins, Me & Dan Atkins have spent the Summer chasing each other around the summer series rounds at Newbury, Dalton Barrack with a little bit of Marlborough thrown too each week one of us gets the better of the other so I knew we’d be okay riding together.
We were joined by Chris minter from Pedalon in the last 20 minutes of the race making it a three with me trying to control the pace with Dan making moves to the front occasionally. The last lap comes and the pace raises ever so slightly and the panic sets in on is Chris going to jump the pair of us and take 8th away from me. Luckily managed to hold on to 8th place and my all timed season best in the Wessex league for me. (until later it gets better)
Lesson of the day: Don’t sit on the front the whole race (Again)
Reading – Prospect Park Rd3
A venue we visit every year in the Wessex League the Bill Higson Memorial Cross. A venue which I’m not a fan of and just generally don’t go to well on with single wooded sections step climbs and just the general feeling that you’re always going uphill.
Practice goes as expected with me sharing my feeling with practically everyone that I hate the place and the usual talk of is the hill rideable!
Gridding this week is different with a large amount of the front runners away at the 3 peaks Cyclo-cross event (Rather them than me) me and David find ourselves on the front row. Whistle goes we are off managed to get going quickly again David gone off like a Scolded cat and I’m playing the usual game of ‘catch David’.
First half a lap is always a bit mad at Reading as it’s a massive advantage to get to the hill first to get a clear run at or at least be in the first 15. Mission complete get to the hill clear run at it over the top I go sitting in 9th…excellent.
Still in 9th mid-way through the race with Tim Doole and one other chasing me down. With two laps to go Tim and the other pass me by this time I’m completely fried bread.
Happy with 11th at a course which I tend to beat myself before I’ve even raced.
Lesson of the day: Don’t beat yourself up you’ve got this.
Oxonian CC – Standlake Arena Rd4
A new venue for the league brought some fun single track with plenty of technical sections and an outfield section which consisted of being very bumpy and plenty jumps & berms and off camber.
Practice was the usual go around confirm its bumpy, is the hill rideable in the middle of the single track basic all the features ridden several times and one lap of the outfield to confirm yes, it is bumpy.
Gridding this week was the normal 12th again second row, whistle goes and I’ve had the start I’ve been searching for all these years currently in 7th after the first few corners and taking a bit of taped out with me.
I’ve Morgan Jones (Banjo Cycles) & Dan Atkins (Didcot Phoenix) in front of me as the front of the race disappears into the distance. I make my way passed Dan after a lap and manage to get myself on to the back of Morgan’s Wheel where we swap places for the laps to come and Dan slowly falls out the back.
I manage to pass Morgan and be the gentleman and do my bit of the front. (seems I like to be on the front of the groups I’m in).
Towards the end of the race Morgan makes a bike change to suit the bump circuit on to his full sus Mountain bike I mean if you got it ride and chapeau to Morgan for that, morgan then passes me and pulls a gap on me so coming home in 6th Place is now my best result in the Wessex League.
Lesson of the day: Bring Mountain Bike next time.
Fareham Wheelers – Droxford Rd5
This venue is becoming a classic in the Wessex League calendar we tend to visit here twice a series which is great but I don’t think I’ve ever been when it hasn’t rained. Well this year guess what it rained all day then got windy and to add to it freezing cold.
Practice this week was a little different I was on my own as Lindy was away and David was leaving it till as late as possible to get cold and wet. I did 3 or 4 practice laps just to make sure I was scared of the place before the race. I’ve bad memories from Droxford as in the years before cycling I was in a nasty motocross accident here which put an end to my career in motorsport and now I’m visiting it on pedal power.
So, this week the gridding is a little different we are gridded by our average finish so I line up on the line second row again but 10th this time. Whistle goes and were off another good start from me maybe it’s a sign that practice does make perfect. Currently 13th in the race after a few laps and I have the company of the youngest in the senior category Fletcher Adams (Hargrove’s Cycles) a national trophy rider that has a lot of experience for a youngster and maybe his results this season doesn’t do him justice but I’m sure he’ll come good as the season progresses. Me and fletcher end up swapping back and forth for a few laps a slip up in the pits swapping bikes allows fletcher a few second’s advantage I get them back, Fletcher swaps bikes pulls away runs like a gazelle on the uphill, I swap bikes bring it back again it continues like this for a few laps. David decided he wants to join the party and it makes us now three swapping positions. It all boils down to the last two laps when fletcher makes a mistake on a bike change and David drops off allowing me to finish 12th and David 13th which on a single speed is bonkers!
Lesson of the day: Improve Running with the bike.