Sunday, January 03, 2010

Still more to come with Rounds 7 - 10 + the Scottish Champs

Stay tuned!

Round 7 Dundee 2009 Scottish Cyclocross Series
My race was a good one but my forth really does not tell the story as I turned myself inside out to get it. From a spectator's point of view by the sounds the race was a cracker to watch! I did manage to get within 5sec of the lead but the running killed any gained time I got every lap, the lead stayed the same throughout but 2nd to 6th was chopping and changing every couple of laps.

On the bell lap I was in 6th and could see 4th and 5th dissapearing up the course, with one all mighty push and probably the hardest I've pushed all season I got on to the track behind Iain and Bruce. Once on the wheel of Iain this is where Bruce went and I followed then attacked off the last bend coming round Bruce to get a well fought 4th, once through the line I fell not being even able to hold myself up !!

Even though I was going for the win I think the forth place does do justice to me as my running is certainly not up to others, that is what cross is about though as a winner overall has to do it all.

Well done to the all the organisers for putting on a great race.

On to Rd8 this weekend at Irvine for another where I will look to keep my run for the series


Round 8 Irvine Scottish Cyclocross Series
From the British Cycling Website:
Junior rider Kenta Gallagher demonstrated his absolute talent this weekend by putting on a dominant display in the Open Race, taking a commanding solo victory ahead of some classy cross racers. Behind, Gary Macrae put in a storming ride to take 3rd overall and the win in the Vets category, whilst Ruth Fraser-Moodie continued her winning ways in the Women's category with an excellent ride that also placed her 29th overall.

With no split fields at this round an impressive field of 90 riders made their way down to the actual beach for the start of the Open race! And what a sight it was as the peleton charged towards the holeshot, a deep ‘n' loose sand run up and over a dune! Whilst the lead riders got through safely, many behind were briefly caught up the bottle neck.

Up front, Gallagher soon had the field stretched out and coming into the sand sector for the first time already had daylight between him and the chasers. From here there would be no looking back - extending his lead each lap, he soloed away to a fine victory.

Behind the chase was certainly on as National Youth MTB Champ Grant Ferguson bridged up to Craig Hardie. For several laps neither could shake the other until a sore back forced Ferguson to retire, leaving Hardie to ride on solo for a well earned 2nd place (and 1st Senior). No easy feat given the strong cross winds.

A larger group of riders including several riders in the running for the Series overall took up the battle behind. This group soon slimmed down to just 4 riders - Paul Newnham, James Fraser-Moodie, Bruce McLeary and Steven McInnes. However, after slower starts, Gary Macrae and Paul McInally then worked their way up to this group and it was race on! Macrae quickly moved to the front and pushed the pace hard, opening up a small gap a few laps later with Newnham and McInnes following around 10 seconds down. Macrae, who after admitted to "feeling very good" kept the pace high and held the gap to the line to take an excellent 3rd place overall and win in the Vets race. Bravo! McInnes managed to open up a small gap on Newnham through traffic on the final passage of the sand sector which he held to the finish, picking up 4th overall. Newnham took 5th overall just ahead of a fast finishing McInally.

Behind Macrae, James Melville rode a solid race to take 2nd spot in the Vets ahead of Steve Nicholson in 3rd. In the Women's race, Ruth Fraser-Moodie started strongly and kept the pace high, stretching her lead throughout the race to win comfortably from Maddy Robinson in 2nd and Gillian Palmer in 3rd. Gallagher's overall race win also bagged him the 1st Junior prize ahead of Matthew Hamilton in 2nd and Jack Taylor in 3rd.

2009 Scottish Cyclocross Championships
As the Champs are not counted to the series I was going to have a crack at going all out and see what happened, after what seemed an age being held on the line getting cold I got off to a good start holding on to Kenta's wheel for say 10m After this I seemed to keep him pegged for the first lap before he tore away and then there was a re-group of three consisting myself, Dan Whitehead and Paul Newham. Not knowing that Kenta had pitted, changed a wheel and then got going again I got a real fright as he came tearing past us all up the steps at full pelt!!

This is the point where Kenta flew and we all just looked at each other, I had already tried to go with him early so I thought one of my companions would go but it looked like they would not or more likely could not go with his pace! The guy has got one pace which is FLAT OUT!! After this we then exchanged 2nd place back and fourth for a few laps until "Wavey" Davey Lines came up to our wee group, I kept an eye on this and as he made contact I went for it and put in a good attack but Dan and Paul came back to me bringing Davey.

So two laps to go and I thought most of our group of four were swinging and it looked like a sprint for second was on the cards, Davey on the other hand had other ideas and went on the attack which none of us could cover. On to the last lap and Dan put in a dig which I covered and which also got rid of Paul meaning myself and Dan were going for the Bronze, I had a picture of the podium in my head at that point and there was no way I was going to be off it!!

The last section before the finish I managed to get a good line down into the off camber bit and then into the running section I thought Dan was going to kill me as he is by far the better runner, I gave it eyeballs out and waited for Dan to come past but to my surprise I got the gap and pushed on to descend round into the finish chuffed to take a well earned Bronze

Round 9 Sat and 10 Sun on Mull the Cross at the Castle
Well that's it for 2009 and what a way to end it on the beautiful Isle of Mull. Going into these last two rounds I knew that a good couple of performances would give me the overall.

Arriving on Sat I felt good and was looking for a top three to make the series solid. In the race it was a close one with Dan Whitehead, James Fraser Moodie and myself fighting for the win, towards the last lap James got away from me slightly and held on till the finish.
Dan had a puncture but was well up to front before it happened and as always in Cross it is not always about just fitness but how you ride also as Dan would find out on Sunday to!

So with my solid second place I was begining to think about the series but knew it was not a given just yet.
At night after working the points out I discovered with all the dropped rounds and wins between James and myself there was only 14 points dividing us. Now instead of rolling round for a finish on Sunday it was going to be a full on effort to secure the title with 40 points for a win.
A couple of things I worked out was :
1. James wins and I finish fifth or worse then James takes the title
2. James wins and I finish forth then it is a tie but James takes title on race wins
So no pressure then!! third or better it was and in Cross it can be owt to do with you when something happens.

Sunday dawned bright and crisp and with a different course it was going to be a faster race due to firmer conditions and a flowing course.
I tried to put out of my mind about the series and concentrate on the race, I was going all out for a win so then it would not matter where James placed. The race started well with me and Dan getting a gap and then me getting a gap on Dan, I then went through my usual mid race lull where Dan re-joined me and the two of us started racing for the win.
At this point James was in third but not gaining so I was quite happy at that moment, Dan was really going for the win after his puncture on Sat and I was covering him well. Going down though a tricky bit on the course Dan caught his pedal and fell leaving me to run over his bike! At this point I let him get back on before we continued on together.

After this I pushed on and it looked like Dan was tiring a bit but it did not matter as he got another puncture! I then pushed on and rolled over the line knowing not only that I had won the race but secured the Scottish CycloCross Series :)

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