Friday 5 December 2014

What Katie did at Milton Keynes...

It was a brilliant day out last Saturday at the World Cup Cyclo cross race in Milton Keynes. Here is a snapshot view of the women's race from a camera fitted on Katie Compton's bike. The American rode impressively, narrowly missing out on the win when she was pipped on the line by Belgium's Sanne Cant. All that after just recovering from an asthma attack the week before. Class act!

(Video from UCI Channel)

Milton Keynes goes cross crazy!

The tough run up
So Milton Keynes World Cup was a success. It was a great day out. The sun even shone and there were loads of cycling bods that I bumped into on the day. Around 10,000 people turned out for the event - which is amazing. That has never happened at all in the UK - not even when cyclo cross World Championships were held in Roundhay Park, Leeds over 20 years ago.

It was just great to be able to walk around the different team camper vans and talk to the elite riders. They all seemed so amenable and friendly.
Helen Wyman loved it

For me, the highpoint was the women's race. I have to say it was a really momentous occasion standing on the long run-up watching women I knew battling it out against the world's elite. It seemed quite surreal.

I have written a few accounts of the event for Sportsister and for Cycling Weekly on-line and in the magazine, but I would just like to share other thoughts.

The course looked pretty mean as well. People described it as a more challenging World Cup course - more like a World Championship course. It's only when you see it for real that you get a full perspective of just how tough these courses are, how steep the hills are, and how muddy it can get. Even just walking around the course was challenging at times - I was worried I would slip and fall on the bankings!

The following day the National Trophy race was held on the same course, which meant us mortals could have a go on it. I had hummed and haa'ed about whether or not to enter it - then 5 minutes before the deadline a couple of weeks before I started my on-line entry. I typed in personal details, then I proceeded to the payment page and typed in those details. Suddenly I got a message saying "payment unsuccessful" - I was 30 seconds passed the midnight deadline and the system had rejected my entry. I don't think that was a bad thing!

As a spectator to the race last Saturday, judging by the looks on the faces of the junior men, who looked at times like they were going to cry, and even some of the women who looked exhausted going round, it was a good job I spared myself the humiliation and also the potential waste of £25 and the cost of a night in a hotel. I am not sure I would have got in even one lap before being pulled out of the race!

I have lots of quotes from riders that have not been used in my write-ups so I will put them out in future posts.

An exciting finale to a great race to the women's race
In the mean time what I have seen, which looks fun though is a clip of the race from Katie Compton's on-bike camera. She narrowly missed out on winning when Belgium's Sanne Cant pipped her on the line. Still, I think she did very well and was very brave to carry a camera on her bike in those slippery conditions!

(Photo: Bart Hazen)