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Misterton Hall - Course Notes
Misterton Hall, owned by Mrs Heather Craven, has hosted its annual cyclo-cross event for the past 24 years.
The venue is a mixture of meadowland, spinney’s and shale/tarmac paths, thus providing the ideal cocktail to test a cyclo-cross rider’s speed and agility.
The Rapha Super Cross course has been designed to produce a fun but challenging circuit for a newbie and enable elite cyclists to showcase their skills and power.
The circuit also enables spectators to get close to the action and witness the battle for victory from a number of vantage points.
Pace notes for new starters - and others
The start will be directly outside the front door of Mrs Craven’s splendid abode. As you line up under the Rapha start/finish gantry, spanning the tarmac driveway you will sprint along the driveway to turn left onto a flat meadow.
The course will loop in around some old ‘art deco ruins’ before crossing a specially created bridge into a small heavily planted area. Beware of roots as the course snakes through the trees and crosses the driveway into another meadow.
There is an opportunity for a slight breather as the track goes slightly downhill before it turns back on itself to climb up a short drag towards the pits. As you blast by the pits you will loop down towards a gateway then onto a tarmac path - CAUTION greasy corner and knobbly tyres are not a good combination…
After a short blast down the path the course turns right to complete a short climb into the heart of another spinney. As you reach the top of the climb you will then drop in and out of the trees.
You will then be faced by a sequence of 3 hurdles. The first hurdle is set between the trees and this will test every rider’s skills. Shortly after the barrier comes another smaller set of hurdles set across the course (this is an ideal location for spectators as the riders descend and climb around you and then they reappear from another angle moments later). The course exits the spinney and back into meadow for more tight and flowing loops. Passing through the double pits for the second time you will then gradually climb and loop back out of the field and into the spinney for a second time. Beware as you start to build up some speed as you will be required to complete a tight left and right turn watch out for tree roots.
The course is now at its furthest point as you drop downwards onto a shale path followed by a quick transfer onto a short section of grass. The finish is only 200m away and this is all on a tarmac path… don’t be fooled. You will be required to negotiate a tight 180-degree turn at the bottom of a long drag that will lead you back towards the front of the house. After a right hand turn the finish line comes into sight.
In short you will be required to think and look ahead, produce lots of short blasts of power and dial in snippets of recovery. The going is good, soft in a couple of areas, but unless you have a mechanical mishap the race should be a ‘one biker’.
Oh, and one more thing: those riding the Fun race will have the extra incentives (or hindrances…) of the infamous tequila shortcut and the fiendishly slippery ‘wall of foam’. You have been warned!
Many thanks to Mrs Craven for allowing us to use her ‘back and front garden’.