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Super Cross 2012: Precious Time
Photos: Cheryl King
There are times to shut up and listen. Times when, no matter how much you think you know in a given field of expertise, it is advisable to keep schtum and take in the proffered advice.
Standing in the rather lovely grounds of Broughton Hall, North Yorkshire, it occurred to me that in all my years of racing cyclocross, nobody had previously explained so succinctly what makes a good ‘cross rider; what separates the front runners from the back markers.
The man doing such a fine job of defining the finer points of ‘cross racing was Paul Oldham – former national champion and no slouch in the mud. He admitted never having led a skills session before, but you’d never have guessed. All present, from absolute beginners to gnarled old timers like myself, learned a lot.
But here was the bit that got me. You know that feeling of being as strong as the rider in front, sitting comfortably on the wheel, all hunky dory? A sharp corner is negotiated and you are suddenly a few yards adrift. No problem you think; sprint back on.
Then it’s a set of planks. The chap in front is smooth as you like, back on the bike in an instant, and away again. Sprint back on, no problem.
Then it’s a steep bank. He has shouldered the bike and hit his stride before you have even swung your leg over. Each time this happens, you are a second down: no big deal, you think, just sprint back on.
- One x set of planks = one second
- Two x dismounts = two seconds
- Ten x sharp corners = ten seconds
- Multiply x nine laps
You do the maths… Then practice your skills. It makes all the difference.
SUPER CROSS 2012: 20th October / 27th October / 28th October
The groundbreaking Rapha Super Cross Series returns, bringing three days of super-charged cyclocross racing to venues around the UK.
- RT @IonaNiDhalaigh: Yahhh mountain jersey in the bag!!! Nice one @mike_cuming!!! @raphacondor http://t.co/GrGqSL0Kgl
- RT @CondorWarehouse: Nice to see the @raphacondor JLT team bike on display @campagnolosrl HQ with so many top pro teams http://t.co/5CgE0tY…
- RT @anpostras: GC after Stage 4: Bialoblocki,, McConvey, Guldhammer, Handley, Pelletier-Roy, Hunal, Simon Yates, Fodor, Roger Aiken, Archbo…
- Spare a thought for @Porterelliott who punctured out of the yellow jersey group, when will he get some luck!
- Took the @anpostras on today. Didn't quite pull it off. @RichHandley90 4th on GC and @mike_cuming in the KoM jersey.
- Tour series update from Stoke up on the site http://t.co/aVdcnGnkOX
- RT @elstopbanana: Here's Kristian House @raphacondor at last night's @TourSeries picture by Sue Howlett Great racing! @SoTCityCouncil http:…
- RT @sticky_bottle: Meant to say, to be eligible for the @raphacondor team car compeition you have to be a stickybottle twitter follower!
- RT @sticky_bottle: OK folks; nice morning for it. To win a day in the Rapha Condor JLT team car on the Rás last stage, Sunday, just retweet…
- Third team overall for the Men in Black at Stoke last night in the @TourSeries