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  • Writer's pictureHannah Collingridge

National CX Series (R1) - RR23 Race Report.

Updated: Oct 25, 2022


Evie Strachan at the National CX Series Round 1, Derby.

9th October 2022, Derby


Cross isn’t just coming, it’s well and truly here and the team headed to Derby for the first round of the national series. For Evie, Becca and Daphs there were a lot of new things to deal with: it’s Evie’s first year of CX so her learning curve is steep this season, and both Becca and Daphs had moved up a category.


The course at Derby was pretty fast with a few damp corners but no real mud yet. It was going to be an interesting day out.

 

Evie


Evie Strachan at the National CX Series Round 1, Derby.

First National cross race ever at Derby! I had only done one West Midlands CX round before this so was unsure what the race would be like but was excited to give it a go!


Course practice was good but definitely a different type of course than I’m used to. A lot flatter than a XC course so the race was going to be full gas and not as technical as usual, yet still requiring skill for picking certain lines on the off cambers and also getting over the hurdles and up the bank straight after.


The course was great and I especially enjoyed the bridges and long straights which I was able to use for strong efforts in my race.

Since I’ve never raced CX before I was gridded 33rd which wasn’t the best but I was determined to make up places. I had a good start and caught a lot of riders through the first grassy straight and was feeling strong. I continued working my way past riders throughout my first lap making my way into around 5th place.


However, I had a group of riders behind me and although battling with another rider I kept taking the lead in the front of the group. I was determined to catch the leading group but (which I now know) unlike MTB it’s a lot harder to create gaps with people, so the riders behind just stayed on my wheel. I spent the majority of 2nd and 3rd lap pushing on the front of the group, I felt like I had strong lines on the off cambers and some of the hills but this could still definitely be improved to be smoother and faster. As I reached the hurdles on my 3rd lap I didn’t pick a good line to run up the hill so the riders behind were able to run up the inside of me and past. I also had a not so great remount.


I haven’t had a lot of work on hurdles, especially at the National heights [UCI regs state barriers can be up to 40cm and they like to use the full height at Derby] so it’s definitely something I want to improve on over this season!


I ended up finishing 10th in my group which I’m pleased with due to my gridding and lack of experience but also hope to improve on this next time! I really enjoyed the different type of race and can’t wait to try it again!


- Evie finished 10th FU16 from 33rd on the grid so a cracking first race for her National CX debut. Even better she knows where she can improve and is determined to develop through the season. Fab stuff, Evie.


 

Becca


Becca Woodvine at the National CX Series Round 1, Derby.

First National CX of the season and first National race as a Junior. I was excited yet nervous due to feeling strong in the local races.


I had a good start and managed to get myself further up the field in the first lap. Next few laps were consistent, hovering of the back of a group, but catching on the technical parts. Felt smooth on the technical corners, I just need to work on the punch out of the corners and not be shy to go.


Last 2 laps were quick, I gave it my all and found some energy which I didn’t know I had. I felt strong so pushed it through the group and made some great overtakes round corners. Finished the race in 13th, which I’m happy with but know I have some more to give.


Felt super strong on the running section, over taking people to get into the technical switch backs first to have the advantage. Going to work on the punch in the next couple weeks to be able to accelerate back up to speed quickly and efficiently.


Loving all the next kit, Schwalbe tyres were perfect - lots of grip! Shimano shoes, giving me the grip to run quick and super comfy and flexible :) Massive thank you!

- Excellent result for Becca with 13th in the Female Juniors class. This is going to be a very competitive race at every round so it’s going to be great to watch Becca’s development through the season, especially once she works on her punch.


 

Daphne


Daphne Jones at the National CX Series Round 1, Derby.

Sunday brought the first round of the National trophy and a new category. I practiced the course in the morning and my legs were feeling good and I felt the twists and turns and techy cambers suited me well.


The race started fast and I mean really fast! Was definitely a shock to the system racing up with the elites and I felt very out of my comfort zone. To quote my dad on first lap ‘I looked like a startled rabbit’. Soon after this I started to find my rhythm and threw myself head first into the race. Legs were feeling strong and I felt really good on the technical sections and moved my up through the field.


I finished 7th U23 and 15th elite which I was over moon with and it felt like a perfect start to the season. I felt like my mountain bike skills suited me well and allowed me to pull ahead on certain sections. Although I would say going into the rest of the season I need to work on my power as I was getting dropped a bit on the powerful straights.


Overall a really good start to the season and looking forward to the next round in Falkirk in a few weekends time.

- Awesome stuff, Daphs. 7th U23 and 15th elite in a very competitive field was a fantastic result.


So on to Falkirk in two weeks where we will discover whether the girls can put into practice some of the things they have been learning.


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