Wessex League CX Opener 2016/2017 – Rd 1 Mary Hare School Newbury

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First of all, it’s great to be back racing again in the Wessex Cyclo – cross League and especially great that we are slowly beginning to see other Sarum Velo members at the event. It was also good to meet Matthew and Colin from Cycle Reviewer sporting the Sarum Velo Colours!
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Now on to the racing…

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As I finished 15th overall last season, it meant that I had 15th position on the start line for the race. This was quite daunting, as I was in the second row amongst some of the national riders, and with a field of 88 behind.

I managed to get a great start, and avoid a first corner accident, which allowed me to hold 13th position for the first couple of laps with a strong field chasing. About the mid way period of the race, I found myself in 22nd position only to find I had a puncture and needed to change bikes! This meant a loss of five positions making it hard work chasing the groups I was in.

I had a good battle for a couple of laps with my good friend David Brazier, each taking a turn at the front.

Towards the end of the race, I started to struggle with cramp if I didn’t keep my legs spinning. This cost me a couple of places, and I eventually ended up a respectable 31st out of 88 – considering the strong group of riders, a few mishaps and a hilly circuit. I’m happy!

Moving on to Swindon next week for Round 2. I haven’t been to the venue before, but apparently it’s flat!

Once again thanks to Paul at Sarum Velo for the support.

Thanks also to Tim Hills from Hills Cycles and Fishing Tackle for keeping the bikes up together week in and week out!

Thanks to Dad for being in the pits as always!

Alex Watkins.

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