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  • Writer's pictureHannah Collingridge

National CX Series (R2) - RR23 Race Report.

Daphne Jones at the National CX Series Round 2, Falkirk.

23rd October 2022, Callendar Park, Falkirk

If Derby CX had been a course about power and speed, Falkirk was all about trying to stay upright. Walking round the course on Friday afternoon it was evident that full use had been made of the undulating terrain. There were short sharp digs aplenty, lots of tight, oddly cambered corners and The Wall, a steeper and longer bank that could not be ridden, only clambered up.

That was Friday. Before the rain came. By the time the Vet men had raced it was clear the course was incredibly slippery, and the The Wall was getting harder and harder to walk up. The rain came and went and the conditions changed every time it did. The racing was unpredictable as so many riders came off and positions changed constantly. An incredible challenge for all. Here’s what the tam thought of it.



Evie Strachan at the National CX Series Round 2, Falkirk.

Big learning experience at RD2 of the CX national series. Was really looking forward to the race due to having a better grounding in how a CX race worked, and the course having a more techy style to it but sadly didn’t get the result I was hoping for.

During course practice I felt good and had worked on a few skills before the race so was feeling excited.

I had a strong start and got into the front group, breaking away in 4th. However, as I went into the first corner I washed out and then after I found I struggled to get grip to climb up The Wall so I continued to lose places as others went up past easier with better grip.

I did my best to push on round the rest of the race and I felt strong but I should have fitted my mud tyres instead. Another of those things that comes down to experience which I am rapidly gaining. [Experience for the team overall as well as we learn more and more about CX rather than XC] It meant I was washing out constantly and struggled to put in any power - and was probably more on the floor than my bike . [She really wasn’t the only one in this position]

I also continued to struggle up the banks across the course due to not having studs in my shoes, and at one point even slide back down after getting almost to the top!

Regardless I had a fun race and it was great experience and definitely learnt a lot and have a much better idea what to work on and change for next time.

- Evie finished 21st in an incredibly competitive race. Well done, Evie, for picking yourself up, several times, and cracking on with the racing. No giving up from our Evie.



Becca Woodvine at the National CX Series Round 2, Falkirk.

Back to Scotland for round 2 of the National Cyclocross series. A long drive up, a warmup in the Premier Inn car park and a lovely Italian with Daphne in crocs, I was ready to race.

An amazing course, with technical descents and challenging run ups, with not many places to put the power down. I had a great start, 18th to 4th within the first 30 seconds. I found a gap and went for it, I had a strong first lap run up which kept me in the same position. The next couple laps I just settled in a rhythm and powered on. On the descents and running uphill I was super comfortable and made my time up. I did lose time on the draggy uphills, so clearly need to get out in the Shropshire hills more often!

Finished the race in 11th and 5th first year, which I’m happy with! Can’t wait for South Shields, hopefully I get some UCI Points!

- Becca is underselling herself entirely on how brilliant her start was. It was blinding. 11th overall is a great result in a race where the lead was constantly changing depending who had fallen off. Get into those hills, Becca.



Daphne Jones at the National CX Series Round 2, Falkirk.

Sunday brought the 2nd rd of the National CX, this time heading up north to Falkirk, Scotland.

We arrived on Saturday so me and Becca went to watch Evie’s race to see what the course was like.

My first impression was that this was really going to suit my riding style and I was really excited to race it.

Course practice on Sunday went well and I was feeling good on the course. The Schwalbe X-One Bites were the tyre of choice for this track and they did not disappoint providing the perfect amount of grip on the muddy course.

Race time finally arrived and I had good start was moving through field nicely then a small mistakes on the bomb hole meant I fell back a couple of places but once back on the bike was moving my way back through the field and feeling good on the bike. Then the big crash came on steep rutted bank called the Slip n Slide. The front wheel skidded out of control throwing me into the netting and a wooden post and into a big old heap on the floor. Winded myself properly and took a while for me to get back on the bike. Took a lap really steady just trying to find some rhythm on the bike. Then in last 2 laps I was able push on a bit more to end up finishing 10th U23 and 17th elite.

Not the result I had hoped but one I can take lots learning points from and still take lots of positives from. Looking forward to going again next weekend at Rd 3.

- Again credit to Daphs for picking herself up and cracking on with it. And credit to Becca for shouting helpful advice from the side at frequent intervals. 17th elite and 10th U23 is not a bad result at all. The U23 category was so strong they won the elite race as well.

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