Plus 1 Lap – It doesn’t sound so bad, but it had been in the back of my mind for two weeks. Getting rid of that bastard chimp on my back was priority number one…
Two weeks ago at Stanmer I’d had a good race and gone away feeling fine. Having those three tiny words next to my name though had pissed me off and it was time to do something about it. A new bike couldn’t hurt my chances, so when my CXRace frameset turned up from Kinesis UK I couldn’t wait to build it up.
However I’d have to wait as first I had my last road-race of the season to get done on Saturday at Cyclopark. Cyclopark and I don’t get on and I’ve had some shockers there in the past, however I felt really good this weekend and I put in a fair amount of work on the front as well as making sure I got enough shelter to recover for the sprint. I chased down some breaks and kept everything together, keen to keep SDW in view as we were hosting the race. Ultimately I didn’t need to risk contesting the sprint and happily came home in the lead group ready to get properly stuck into the ‘cross season.
The CXRace is an all new frame for Kinesis and is a no-holds-barred racing weapon. The Scandium frame is designed to accept the fitting of Canti, Hydrullic disc or Cable disc brakes and can be run with traditional 2×10 or 2×11 cable set-ups, Di2 shifting or the latest 1×11 if that’s your thing. Having raced last season on pretty much all of those combinations my personal favourite is 2×11 Di2 with hydraulic discs so that’s how I built my bike, but whatever kit you’ve got kicking around at home or on another bike, it can probably be made to work on the CXRace frame by a workshop that knows what they’re doing.
So, bike built late on Saturday and ready to go racing on Sunday! My friend picked me and my bike up and we headed up to Redbridge for a day of getting muddy. London Phoenix had done a great job with the course and made use of the best bits of the Beastway mountain bike courses. Lining up next to Michael Butler on the start I hoped that some of his speed may rub off on me, but more importantly this week I was not going to be lapped by the man at my shoulder.
Racing across the in-field to the first muddy hole everyone was keen to stay near the front and this caused the inevitable tumble, but everyone got quickly back on to their bikes and we were racing again. Almost immediately I was feeling the effects of yesterdays road race and too little sleep but as always with ‘cross there are strong competitors wherever you are in the bunch so I got my head stuck into racing the two Crawley Wheelers that I was with.
As the race went on I was getting to know my new bike – flying on the downhill’s and turning into corners so much better than my previous ride. I was told it was going well on the climbs too although in the heat it may have been working better than I was. I’d always viewed these first two races as an extended testing/training period so I was content that things will get stronger – I’ve really got to focus on getting down to a training plan but now that my other races have finished and my bike’s ready I’ve got no more excuses!
With two laps to go I was told to sit up, complete the lap and roll over – not this time I thought to myself. I pushed really hard for the first half of the lap and then disaster, tape in my cassette looked like it would end my race – ripping it all out of my bike I jumped back on and re-took the place I’d lost. Pushing hard again I got within 10 seconds of Wilf before a stray blackthorn branch found its way into my front wheel and jammed it. Once again, foreign object removed and back on the bike I raced to complete the lap well ahead of the leaders. I smiled to myself – my first objective was won and I’d given myself and massive confidence boost after being caught for a lap two weeks ago.
Look out later on in the year for some long-term reviews of the CXRace and Pip’s 5TDisc and if you’d like one built give us a shout.
Big big thanks to Pete for driving me up to Redbridge and to Martina Habrunova, Paul Greer and Pip Jenkins for all the photos. #southerncross #morecowbell #wearecross #5TDisco
- Michael Butler (Hargroves)
- Jonathon Dennis (Control)
- Chris Ansell (Corridori)
18. Glen Whittington (SDW) +06:29
Glen rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. He races Mountain bikes in the UK National XC Points and Eastern XC Series, Road bikes in the Surrey, South-East and Eastern Leagues, TT in the South East Region and ‘Cross in the LCCA League. He receives personal support from Helly Hansen, The Velo House, and THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY.
Glen runs The Velo House with Olly, a coffee shop, workshop and bike shop welcoming all cyclists and even well behaved non-cyclists. We’re based at 5 St.Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9TN – 01892 554 505 – firstname.lastname@example.org.