A great day out. It’s such an event for me – and to have it at Bradford, within the hour from home, was such a pleasure. Adding to that pleasure was the fact that mum, Katie and the girls could all come out and watch me on the relatively short day trip.
The race itself was not quite what I (and we, at Team Wheelbase) had been hoping for – or in particular, not as wet and muddy as seems to suit all of our riding styles, but there was a job to do, and we all got on with it.
Jodie Crawforth has been plugging away for a few years and deserved his title as national champion today – a good race produced a good champion, and I’m really happy that someone’s stopped Roger Hammond, good though he is, from winning the national champion’s jersey then hardly giving it an outing.
Rob Jebb (right), my Wheelbase team mate rose to the occasion on a course that wasn’t wet enough on the day, he took the race full on and finished fifth. If it was muddy and wet, I still really believe it could have been his day.
The sad bit of the day for me was the Stuart Reid continued his run of really poor luck in big races this winter. The world fireman’s champion on both Road and Mountain Bike, Stuart made a start worthy of his power and skills, and looked good for a top 15, but the demons came out yet again and when Stuart’s chain became twisted in his rear gear mechanism three minutes’ run from the pits, his race was effectively over.
My good friend and team mate Lewis Craven managed to keep up his reputation and finish a good ninth in what’s been a tough year for him, meaning that my 24th place was enough to secure Team Wheelbase the national team title for the second year running. I feel a bit awkward about stepping onto the podium the second year running in a spot that Stuart deserves, but cyclocross is cruel, and having a team of four riders (for the top three counting) has paid dividends two years running now.
None of this would really have been possible without some bloody ace support from Wheelbase – who are the best sponsors in UK Cyclocross – on days like that it shows – total support before, during and after the day – masseur, pit crew. Plus a superb set of photos from Dave Macfarlane Photography – some of which are below.