by Andy Whitehouse © 2013 Andy Whitehouse

National Cyclocross Championships 2013 – Peel Park, Bradford.

My favourite venue for cyclocross outside of Helwith Bridge. This year’s Nationals were at Peel Park again.  The rain held off much to my disgust int he days before. I like it more cloggy and technical, but on race day, Peel Park never lets you down – it’s a terrific venue with so much technique called upon even on the less muddy years. So here’s race day, in as few words as necessary.

Easy get up. Afternoon race. Bags of time. Gentle drive. Over-hydrated. Need pee.  Stop at services. Easy drive. Need pee. Stop at services. On to venue. Race under way. Atmosphere building. Erect gazebo. Text Alan. Prepare turbo. Take photos. Check tubs. On to course. Surprised at cambers. Say hello. Greet people. Sign on. Back to car. Rest. Eat sandwich (cheese). Eat cake (fruit). Pin number. Wrap up. Onto turbo. Spin to keep warm. Spin to warm up. Biting wind. Mum, Phil Angus arrive. Hugs. Feel excited. Prep was fine.

To the start. 5th row of grid! Don’t panic. Layers off. Starting in the next 30 seconds. Bang. Off. Good start. Lucky start. Avoid crash. Consolidate. Follow wheels. Save a bit. Bad lines. First lap. People everywhere. Good on climb. Better on run up. Ten places higher. Ride. Listen. Try. Concentrate. Bell. Focus. Done.

Hugs. Hellos. Pats on backs. Bikes on car. Muck wiped off legs. Freezing. Bye. Drive. Arrive. Beer.

Thanks to Jo Allen, Phil Haygarth and Andy Whitehouse for photos