Stanmer is one hot fast bastard!..
Since wrapping up the Beastway series I’ve been away on the touring bike with Pip for a couple of weeks in Euroland. We got fully loaded up with tents, cooking gear and everything else that we’d need for 12 days on the road. I’ve got a dedicated touring bike whilst Pip converted her Kinesis ‘cross bike for the job. We got the ferry over to Dunkirk and rode up the coast through Belgium to Holland and up to the Friesland islands before returning back down through Flevoland and Utrecht.
We were amazingly lucky to be blown by a crazy tailwind all the way up the coast before a rest-day of rain on Texel, followed by a week of sun and still winds on the way back down. The dunes all the way up the coast were incredible and on one day we rode nearly 100km without leaving them. The way back down south was a lot easier and more beautiful than we were expecting but for me the wildness of the Friesland islands was the best bit.
Back home, Pip headed straight out for a TT race and I raced the last round of the short course XC series at Bedgebury, taking the series with a win. Really great organisation by the BFCC guys made the series a joy and made me remember how much I love riding the mountain bike. Look out for the 6-hour race that they are organising in September and register now for the solo, pairs or team categories – should be a relaxed atmosphere and some awesome grass-roots mountain bike racing.
‘Cross soon comes around so I dusted my CX Race off for a few rides ahead of Round one of the London League at Stanmer Park in Brighton. Excellently hosted by VC Jubilee the first round is always a battle against the road racers who are coming off the end of their season and I tend to struggle with the lack of technical bits. However over the last two years I’ve worked on my lack of top end power by racing more and more TT’s and on Sunday this seemed to be helping.
From the first time up the hill it was obvious that I wouldn’t be challenging for a podium, but I wasn’t being completely left behind either. I took a place or two each lap including several riders who I knew I’d be fighting with for the overall at the end of the season and the shouts from the side of the course were really helping. Like I posted on Instagram one of the things I love most about ‘cross are the genuinely great people – it was awesome to catch up with so many smiling people before the race!
As the race went on I was fighting hard with Chris Morrison (Pearson). I was feeling good in the wooded sections despite my brakes playing up, but he was quick everywhere else. I overtook him and then he took me back several times before getting a small gap. With a lap and a half to go I caught back up – I knew he’d expect me to go past on the fast downhill into the woods so I decided to wait for half a lap and then go on the climb where it would catch him out. The plan worked and I consolidated my small gap through the woods to come back out in 13th position.
Not my best result by far but it is my best result at Stanmer and if I can get onto the front row next time I should be able to do a bit more. Cheers again for all the shouts! #aeightracer
- Tom Easley (Crawley Wheelers)
- Joe Peake (CCL London)
- Jules Birks (VC Londres)
- Glen Whittington (SDW)
Photos by Dave Haywood, christopherlanaway.com, John Mullineaux, Jeremy Brown and Glen Whittington
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 @eightbikeco #aeightracer
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 – email@example.com. @thevelohouse #thevelohouse