Round 9 Droxford

great to have a report from David who raced today

Here we go guys (Alex , Paul , Lindy ). Get yourselves a beer and have a read…

November 19th 2017 – Wessex League Round 9 – Swanmore Motocross Track, Near Droxford

Today was our second visit to Droxford this season. The conditions were much better than last time and sun replaced the rain we had back in October – it was still pretty cold though! The course was MUCH drier than last time and a few changes took some of the edge off but it’s still up there as one of the harder courses; requiring a mix of skill and power to take on the hills (oh, the hills!) and the sketchy descents. Special shout out to the ‘Heckler’s Corner’ at the top of one of the descents whose encouragment (and low level abuse!) around a tricky off camber switchback is what cross is all about!

Sarum Velo brought 4 riders – Pete Williams, Lindy Larkin, Alex Watkins and myself (David Brazier).

First up was the combined vet50+ and womens race that Pete and Lindy were taking part in. My view of this race is always a bit odd as I’m in the pits taking care of Lind so I don’t have the best vantage point. Pete completed 5 laps of the course in just over 42 minutes. Looking at the lap times Pete had a solid start and although his 4th lap was about 30 seconds slower than the rest he finished with a decent lap and a final placing of 38th . Although I didn’t get much of a chance to chat at the end he looked like he enjoyed it! Good job, Pete.

Lind was gridded on the first row and had a great start – mixing it up the front with the girls from the Hargroves team. Lind was making decent progress until a recurring chest-pain surfaced which saw her drop a few places before calling it quits after 3 laps. Her lap times suggest a top-10-ish finish was on the cards but at this point in the season, with a few races left, there was no point in pushing things beyond what was sensible. She’ll be back in no time and after a bit of downtime and a cup of tea courtesy of Papa Watkins she was back in the pits cheering me and Al on – GO TEAM!

Alex and myself took part in the final race of the day and the course had held up well to the day’s activities, with the sun and wind combining to dry out the surface which made the previously slightly greasy corners pretty grippy – all this pointed towards a potentially quick race. Al was gridded on the 2nd row and myself on the third. At the starters whistle Al got off to a decent start and I pretty mych stayed still – my run of poor starts continued and it made for a tricky first lap trying to get back up through the field.

I was within sight of Al for a fair while though he was able to pull away from me with some decent lap times alongside the other riders he battles with week-in week-out. Al is nothing if not consistent – and today was no exception with all his lap times being within about 15 seconds of each other. Al finished in a solid 20th place completing 9 laps in about 56 minutes (a shorter race today as the sun was setting quickly!). Nice riding, mate.

I was stuck in a battle with numerous riders around me and managed to pull away from a couple of key competitors and pull out a bit of a lead over them. A skid-turned-fall-turned-roll let the rider in front of me get away but I had enough distance over the riders behind me to keep my position. The tumble did bend my mech hanger and my new easiest gear of 40 x 23 was not ideal for the hilly course but I held on to finish in 25th. Happy with that and happy to beat a few people who normally beat me so a good day out.

Thanks go to the normal people, including the organisers who did a fantastic job, Papa Watkins for the support as ever and my team mates for another great day out.

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