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  • Writer's pictureHannah Collingridge

The Cross Over Weekend - RR23 Race Report.

Updated: Oct 4, 2022


Evie Strachan & Daphne Jones podium at the Cannock Chase Summer Classic

3-4 August 2022


As it quickly got nicknamed due to XC racing on the Saturday and the local CX season starting for so many on the Sunday. Meanwhile the team were embracing as many disciplines they could in one weekend. Here’s what they got up to...


The problem with stripy tops for the youngsters is that they tend to win them when they are at the top end of the age criteria for their category so then move up a cat for the next season and can’t wear the jersey in competition. So it’s great to see Aelwen’s has been out and about in style.

 

Evie


Evie Strachan at the Cannock Chase Summer Classic

Evie came to the Mayer Active/ Run and Ride Summer Classic at Cannock Chase – a touch later than actual summer but we had summer conditions with dust and trails threatened to be overgrown by brambles so it still counts -


I had a great time racing the Summer Classic on Saturday. I decided to challenge myself and sign up for the elite category in order to do 4 laps and test my legs. [Good decision, Evie, because you’d have been in this category anyway if the event organiser had anything to do with it]


I loved the course and enjoyed the slightly different route it took as well as the log section before the finish which was interesting and incorporated some cross skills.

I think I had a good start setting off with Daphne and kept a fast pace through my first lap, us both trying to make our way through the male categories. I felt strong on the climbs and felt like I still had a good maintained speed on the descents. However as I entered halfway into the race my legs started to tire but I tried to keep my pace high as I could.


I finished my last lap in 2nd and proud to have pushed myself. Overall, I really enjoyed the race and definitely want to try it again!


 

Daphne


Daphne Jones at the Cannock Chase Summer Classic

Saturday -


Daphne was also at the Summer Classic, and had also entered into the elite class, which again was the correct decision -


On Saturday I travelled to the Cannock Chase for the final XC race of the season. It was a different course to the ones I have raced previously but I really enjoyed the course and felt strong on it throughout the race.


I had a strong start which I was very happy with as it has been something I have struggled with this season.

I spent the first half of the 1st lap battling it out with teammate Evie but then managed to break away and gain a small gap going into the second lap. From them I pushed on and managed to take the win. Super happy with how I rode and felt really strong on bike which is a good feeling heading into the CX season.


Big thanks to run and ride for the awesome course and event.


- So there was our elite women’s podium. Now the observant of you may have noticed there were only two women in the elite race. To give you a fuller picture of their race let me add that they set off two minutes after the men’s elite class, and one minute after the enthusiast men – there are a lot of enthusiast men at Cannock. Evs and Daphs managed to blow their way through the men in front of them as well as racing each other. Cracking racing on RR23 home ground.


Sunday -


Welsh Enduro Series Round 5 at Llanfyllin


The tracks were INSANE at round 5 of the Welsh Enduro Series. Some the steepest and most technical tracks I have raced. A wet start to practice meant wet roots which proved difficult on stage One and and some slick sections on the other stages meant I had 2 crashes in practice which made me a bit wary for the race lap in the afternoon but luckily the sun came back out and dried the stages out.


Stage 1:

Fairly good nut I didn’t push the pace as hard as I feel I could have due to still expecting the slippy roots after the off in this morning’s practice but finished the stage feeling good and more confident on the bike.


Stage 2:

This was by far the hardest stage of the day with a rock roll / drop straight of the start which then went into steep loamy turns which had a become blown out throughout the weekend. I was super stoked with my run on this trail and it was the best run of my day. Kept things smooth and upright.


Stage 3:

I felt good on stage three, I made a few mistakes in the bottom section of the track nearly losing it on the bottom section but managed to ride it out. Again it was super loose and steep but was a super track and my favourite one of the day.


Stage 4:

This was the final stage of the day and the wind and rain had picked back by the time I started my run but luckily the track seemed to have stayed fairly dry. Felt good down the final stage and felt like a solid run.


Super happy to come away with 3rd in the U21 ladies and to have made big improvements from last year’s race there. The tracks are getting harder but it adds to fun of it! Another great weekend of racing and riding bikes.


- Not a bad weekend, youth, and spotting improvement is always the best thing.


 

Becca


Becca Woodvine in action at Round 1 of the Midlands CX

Full of many firsts this weekend including the Round 1 of the West Midlands CX league! First cross as part of RR23 and first of RR23 to do a cross race -


I woke up to a rather humid and hot morning, not ideal cross conditions but meant it was going to be a quick race. This was my first race as a junior so didn’t put any pressure on myself, I just wanted to enjoy it.


The whistle went, I had a really good start leading the women out up the climb, down the camber and up the steps. Minutes later I was overtaken by a rather rapid Xan Crees so I sat on her wheel for half a lap and then she lifted the pace meaning I dropped off a bit.


I rode my own race for a few laps and then Ceris Styler joined me. It was an amazing experience to be riding behind an Olympian and World Champion.

[She also won her category at the XC Champs this year too]. For the rest of the race, I rode comfortably and gave it my all.


Super happy to come away with 3rd overall and 1st Junior, behind and in front of some amazing riders. Looking forward to cross nationals this year, need to believe in myself more!


- Well done, Becca – great result among that speedy competition. And the RR23 cross season off to a flyer.


 

Aelwen


Aelwen Davies representing Wales at the 2022 School Games

So to finish off my season, and before turning to Cyclo-Cross, I was once again selected to represent Wales.


This time at the 2022 School Games. It was a tough three days of competition.


Day 1 was at Derby Velodrome for a full day of track racing.


Day 2 was at Loughborough University for a hill-climb TT, street sprints and criterium races.


Day 3 in the Leicestershire countryside for a closed road race. At the end of the competition Team Wales finished with the bronze medal. I was happy with my contribution to the team.


- An incredibly busy weekend with some varied racing and cracking results. Well done, team. On to CX now.

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