I raced my first London Cyclo Cross League race yesterday, at Reed Court Farm about 7 miles south of Maidstone (so definitely not London).
It was a great course, lots of fast sections with a few technical bits thrown in. There were 130 riders on the start line so getting a good starting position was almost impossible (regular riders who achieve high placings get gridded at the front - it's hard to see how you can break into that group as you need a good grid position to get away cleanly). After 300 metres the course narrowed through a gate causing a bottleneck, and a crash exacerbated this, about 300 metres further on was the first technical section causing more delays, so I was well down by this point. Over the next few laps I kept chasing hard trying to catch other riders in my category and I passed quite a few. With two laps to go I banged my front mech which meant it was slightly fouling the chainset but kept going as I was in a ding dong battle with a guy I'd just passed, whom I could catch on the fast sections then lose on the technical bits. On the last lap he timed his move to perfection, passing me just before we entered the final section through a wood, which was singletrack, and holding on to the line. I've no idea where I finished as the results are only showing the top 19 so far and the top three vets.
Next Sunday the league moves to Hillingdon so I'll be riding that.
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