Melin Mynach Cross, Gorseinon – Welsh Cyclo-cross League Round 7
After a weeks hiatus from Cyclo-cross last week for the Cross Mountain event it was back to it for round 7 of the Welsh Cyclo-cross league. This weekend it was quite a drive away in Gorseinon on the outskirts of Swansea. I didn’t have to leave early though as my race doesn’t start until 12:15pm so I had time to enjoy a lovely frosty sunrise at home.
I headed off just before 8:30am and started making my way towards Swansea which would be about a two hour drive. What I hadn’t counted on was someone pulling out of a little lane in Borth and hitting the side of my car. Thankfully it was all at slow speed as I was only doing about 20mph and she was just pulling out onto the main road. She hit the back end of my car causing a bit of damage, but nothing that stopped me driving. Details were exchanged and we went on our way.
The rest of the journey was uneventful, driving through the frosty welsh landscape with temperatures hovering around 0ºC. Uneventful that was except for the fact that I started feeling a little ill as I approached my destination. First stop therefore in Gorseinon was the leisure centre for the use of their toilet! I then headed over to the field where the Cyclo-cross event was taking place. As usual, everything was underway and looked well organised. The route was marked out, some of the kids races were already taking place and there were cars, people and bikes everywhere. There was also a registration tent and of course a tea and cakes tent. My stomach wasn’t quite feeling up to cakes though. I resisted therefore the lure of tea and cakes and just headed to the registration tent to get my race number. Once changed I dropped my mountain bike of in the pits, chatted to a couple of people and then headed out for a little recce of some of the course. I couldn’t ride it all as races were taking place on part of it, but I was able to see most of it.
It was a really nice course for me, not too many tight turns, not too much mud and not too many technical bits. There was a bit of a slog into the wind up a hill at one point too. A course that played more to fitness than technicality which should be fine for me. If only I was feeling a little more perky that was. My new tyres felt good too. I’m not sure how much difference they made as there weren’t too many tight corners. Then again, maybe I just felt more comfortable on the bends with my new tyres making me think that the course was less technical.
The wind was light in most places, the sun was shining and although it was cold, the temperatures were now up above freezing. Shorts and long sleeved tops were the order of the day as we lined up at the start. I was in 28th place in the overall league standings so lined up on the third row, not too far behind the fast guys. I was still feeling sick though so my aim for the day was just to get around and finish. Hopefully once I got going the adrenalin would kick in and I’d feel OK.
We were soon off for a frantic dash to the first bend.
The hurdles were omitted from the first lap to keep things safe and I had a good start. I went out hard, too hard really but it paid off as I soon settled down into my own pace. I seemed to be in the right place as well. The fast guys ahead of me were disappearing into the distance, but there was no one breathing down my neck. I spent most of the first couple of laps pretty much on my own. This was perfect for me, I could ride at my own pace without anyone hassling me. I still felt sick though, didn’t have much extra to give and my legs felt heavy. As the race wore on, a few of the fast V50’s and women started to catch me, and I started to lap people as well. I was riding the course well though and apart from feeling ill thought that I was going quite well.
I was glad to hear the bell as my legs were beginning to struggle. I spurred myself on to catch a couple of people on the final lap and crossed the line with a bit of a sprint despite being on my own again.
That’s round 7 done and dusted and the 6th race of the year for me. I now felt really sick though so did no more than hand my number back, pack up and head home.
By the time I got home as felt as though the lurgy had well and truly got me. Hopefully it won’t come to much as I have a busy week this week. I think a few days with no training is on the cards. I’m hoping to be fighting fit for next weekends race as it’s quite a local one for me.
As usual the race was great, the people I was racing against were all enjoying it too and the organisation was top notch. I can’t wait to see the result as it could be my best result yet and could move me up a little in the overall standings. Had I been feeling 100% then it would definitely have been my best race to date.