First Cross for 25 years and first of 2018 and broken Hanger

Sarum Velo had a new rider racing for the first time for a a few years in a cx race Nigel Benham he did a little report as did Lindy who had a disastrous race due to her rear mech hanger snapping

My first CX for 25 years.

After months of promising to give CX a go again, I eventually get my entry in. First hurdle sorted. Normally I can be found orienteering with Sarum Orienteers which will be either running or cycling around forests of heath finding control flags, so mud and water are certainly order of the day but my courses are usually 75mins to 3 hours.

Next few days watching the weather get worse and worse still didn’t put me off and in fact I was quite looking forward to it. My pit crew (wife) thought it would be great fun to come along and watch me make a fool of myself, so off we go on Sunday morning leaving plenty of time. Nice and warm 4 degrees, that is until Chieveley, then the snow came and the temperature dropped! First problem was finding my way onto the airfield, the website was a bit vague and there were no signs off the road!!

Eventually we get sorted and meet up with Lindy and James who help my through the signing on, unfortunately the lady at signing on forgot to mention about picking up the timing chip. Oh well, I was sure it wouldn’t make a difference to my performance!!

A quick half-sighting lap on the way to the start was enough to realise it was going to be a lottery and confirmed when I ended up at the back of the grid as it was my first race. I was happy with the race, overtaking a few on the first lap and just happy to survive the cold, narrowly avoiding a big pile up which ended up in a puddle!! Happy with my consistency overall, 3 laps within 5 seconds of each other, just lacking speed and strength on the short hills. We are still waiting for the results as I write this but I will definitely be back for more and hopefully the warmth of the summer series will set me up for more races in the winter.

Now how to play the N+1 card and get a CX bike!!

nigel came in 25th

25 703 Nigel Benham Sarum Velo M V50 39:23.4 4 -1 Lap 03:00 12:04 12:12 12:07

Great report Nigel

while nigel was racing lindy was also racing

Below report from Lindy Larkin

“After a cold couple of practice laps I felt pretty confident

with the course, all rideable. Front row start but was only a short sprint before a quick turn onto the muddy grass. I think I was running at about 8th but was cornering well compared to some. Past the pits then 50m along I heard a crunch and my wheel jam.. broken derailleur. All the field ride passed me as I shouldered and ran to the next pit which took ages as included all the deep mud and banks. Luckily Alex got David from the other pit and I was able to go on my spare bike. I was able to get back as many places as I could but was too far back to get a good result. Fun course though so used it as a practice. Onwards to next week where hopefully my bike will like me a bit more. Thanks to Dan Colloby for kindly

giving me his spare”

Well done Lindy great effort as per normal now on. To the boys in the mens senior event

Where we have two great reports from both riders Dalton Barracks round 13 – Wessex League CX.

Obviously the weather was horrendous on Sunday freezing rain / Snow / Sleet so everyone new what was in store for the day.

After a couple of laps of practice with the team or swims shell we say we where all quite confident about the race even tho the freezing cold and the conditions where the worst I think we’ve raced in.

I managed to get a pretty good start and was 9th for the first couple of laps was battling with a close friend of the team Caleb Smy when I made the stupid mistake of trying to cross a rut to get a better line only to hit the deck after clipping Caleb’s wheel to slide through a puddle. Once mounting my bike I realised I hadn’t any gear selection due the to bike being submerged in the puddle luckily enough this was the bend before the pit which allowed me to swap bikes and get back on my way again in 11th (I think). After a couple of laps slogging by myself I found myself being hunted down by David Brazier looking like I man on a mission I new id have my work cut out. With two laps to go me and David where pretty much circling the course together until the final lap when David made his move on me on the tarmac section between the tight twisty bends towards the finish I new at this point I’d have possible lost our little Sarum Velo battle only to see a gap a few turns before the finish I passed David and we went head to head for the finish in a sprint.

All in all a great day considering the weather and was good to be battling with a fellow club member I couldn’t of said that last year!

On to the final round of the season next week at Southampton!

Great report alex and now finally David’s account of his race


Not an awful lot to add from my side – the guys have covered most of it – the key points being it was bloody cold, very wet and extremely muddy.

I was gridded next to Alex but didn’t quite match his start so was down somewhere around 20th. I knew I had the legs to pass those around me but wasted a bit too much time looking for a good moment to pass – in those conditions there’s never really a good moment!

I managed to get away from the 5 or so riders I was with and in my sights was Caleb Smy (Bike Jockey) and Alex. I was closing in slowly on them both when I noticed they had swapped positions and Alex was sporting an even muddier skin suit than he was before and was now on a different bike.

I felt surprisingly good, the mud was a friendly kind of mud for me. It was sloppy mud over a harder base rather than a super sticky mud. If nothing else, cyclocross will help you learn more about mud than you probably should.

Anyway, I digress…I managed to get up to Al and stuck to his wheel for a bit waiting to make my move – it being Al I wasn’t prepared to do the usual risky ducking and diving! – and I passed him with about half a lap to go.

I wasn’t sure what would work best for me coming into the last sprint – Al’s got the legs on me in a sprint so it was either try and get a gap and try to hold him off or try a surprise sprint from behind. Well, I couldn’t get a gap on him so I was left to try a sprint from behind. In the end he simply out gunned me.

Still it was great fun and sprinting with a team mate is a win-win situation!

Around this point I think the cold got to me a bit – don’t really remember getting undressed after the race but definitely got home wearing nothing but a picnic blanket and my hoodie. Good times.


Done to everyone. Such great race reports from those Who raced this weekend under harsh conditions well done indeed

Next weekend is Southampton for the final race of this years season so come on down and cheer them on

Paul club secretary

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