National Trophy Round 5 – Cyclopark, Gravesend

On Sunday 10th December me, my Dad and Dan Hall went to Cyclopark, Gravesend for Round 5 of the Cyclocross National Trophy Series. It had been raining for the last couple of days so the course was slippy but because my race was pretty much the last race of the weekend, it meant that it was completely churned up. 750m of the course had to be taken out because of this. It was the closest race to home of the Series so leaving at 8:15 wasn’t so bad compared to other days! I got signed on as soon as I got there and we got set up ready for the day. As the day went on it started to “drizzle” more and more and by the time it got to my race it was very wet. I got ready for course practice at 10:45 and then did my sighting laps at 11:15. I decided to do 2 laps to judge the course and what the conditions were like, it was very slippery with a lot of running involved. I hopped on the rollers at 13:10 to get warmed up for my race which started at 13:45. After that, 15 minutes before the start we got called over to the grid and had a couple of minutes to warm up there.

Photos courtesy of Man Down Media

I was gridded 4th row which was fairly decent and I was able to get into around the top 15 by the first technical section. With my Dad and Dan in the pits I was able to pit whenever I wanted and I pitted nearly every lap. With around 2 laps to go I was in a really good position inside the top 20 and 4th first year U16!

However just after the pits I looked down at the mud beneath me and hit a rut and got flung full speed into one of the wooden posts. Fortunately I had no injuries but I did lose a bit of time. Something to learn from though. Throughout the race I “blew up” more and more and moved backwards. I finished 23rd/60 riders and 7th first year after an extremely tough race.