Cold, muddy and exhausting – watching cyclocross was hard work. Riding it looked even harder. Rudy and Pasquale were the ones brave enough to kit up and race in Round 11 of the London X League at Redbridge Cycling Centre.
Don recently spent a few days in California soaking up the West Coast vibes we’ve come to yearn for from our times on BKLA13 and Hunt4 #seekanddiverge This time Don would be introducing his brother to the roads and the experiences that can only be gleaned from riding them. Click Read more for his words.
Some photos from the South-Eastern Cyclocross Championship in Deal, Kent. Alex is still healing from his Red Hook Crit crash and was there to support Rudy and Pasquale, while photographer Jon Baines was there behind his lenses taking some great shots. Click read more below to see rest of the set.
The last time I was stood in a wet muddy field on a Saturday afternoon with the sun shining down was at a music festival over 6 years ago. Since then I’ve reserved my mud-balancing act exclusively for the slopes of mountain bike trails, however it’s not every day you get to photograph some of the best cyclo-cross racers in world let alone have them deep in UK mud.
On the 29th November 2014 the CX World Cup left the well-established pastures of mainland Europe and ventured across the channel for the very first time and pitched itself in the “New City” of Milton Keynes. As this was my first time covering of a CX race I didn’t really know what to expect apart from the obvious mud and “frites” but what I didn’t expect was a crowd of 8’000 strong spectators to be tentatively making their way up to the top of the hill in Campbell Park to watch both the women’s and men’s races unfold on an incredibly tricky and technical course.
The 2.6km course snaked it’s way down and up the rutted muddy hill of the park, with plenty of off-camber sections before making it’s way to the man-made obstacles of hurdles and stairs, where you can imagine attracted plenty of “urging” from the crowd as few riders including Jeremy Powers rode up the stairs to mud drunk cheers.
With everyone seeming to be having so much fun (barring one grumpy chap who decided to wear brand white Nike Air Max) it all seem to end far to quickly, from a spectators point of view of course, but from the competitors faces I think it’s fair to say that the course was certainly tougher than anyone had expected. Sanne Cant won the Women’s Elite and Kevin Pauawels topped the men’s board.
Before the event even made its way out of mainland Europe I had heard some chatter about why it wouldn’t be as good as the races in Europe and that their wouldn’t be as big of a crowd but I think the results certainly speak for themselves. I have been to derby day football matches with crowds that are less enthusiastic as those I witness in Milton Keynes and it’s a true testimony to the UK cycling spectators as to how amazing they seem to make every event that comes to British soil. I’m glad I made the Milton Keynes CX World Cup my first CX race coverage, it lived up to everything I hoped for in a big CX race and I certainly hope to see it return in the future.
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Supercross is one of the closest and best organized races on our calendar and the UCI calendar, historically freezing temps with a race course nestled in the hills and in the shadow of Bear Mountain our go-to climb during road season. This year 6 of us headed out to race i the 4/5, 2/3/4 and 3/4 across Saturday and Sunday. The course changed throughout the day with the thaw and tires defining the lines and level of traction. Sunday featured 2 run ups and a generally more fragmented and challenging course. Somehow Supercross manages to remain fun while kicking your head in; long may that endure.
This was Angelo’s second cross race… ever… he also manged to get some captures of the team.
Six days before the start of the Tour of Britain 2014, I had all the logistics finialised for two stages of the ToB that I wanted to cover and had been looking forward to them for quite some time, and then the phone rang… Five days later, after some emailing with Tom Southam (team press officer and former rider), I found myself catching a morning train northbound to Liverpool where I was to meet up with the team, Rapha Condor JLT. More images on Angus’s blog here, Click Read More for full article.
Angelo joined us this weekend as we headed out to HPCX. Conditions were absolutely perfect by the time the 2/3/4 race swung around; high 60’s, slightly breezy, tacky course. I had little expectations for myself on anther UCI weekend with a combined field in a course renowned for climbing. After the first pre-ride I was confident I could turn that on its head, with wide flowing lines and rooty wooded descent sections and rideable stairs I was sure the balance swung to features that favored me.
The short course meant 7 laps which is a mental battle, however my endeavor to work through this season with the goal of better grid placement next year kept the motivation high even when my 38-32 made me lazy on the uphill and active recovery dwindled. I finished 29th and ahead of my marker men and winning a line sprint- I was stoked. Ryan was further up the road in 14th on his continued show of form, Pino flatted out but made up for it with a hometown third in West Chester on the Sunday.
Marty Cross is next for us.
Thanks to Angelo for the images.
This weekend was a tale of two halfs, Saturday was Whirlybird CX where we got the ‘real cyclocross’ weather we’ve all been chanting about for the past 5 or 6 weeks. It took its toll on body and bike and by the time we got to Cooper River on Sunday only myself and Johnny we’re able to race our bikes with Ryan joining on a loaner from All-City who were in attendance. Much fun was had and Eloy Anzola captured the drama nicely on Saturday.