|Sid leads the bunch - Photo Dave|
|Start line staunchness - Photo Dave|
|Ollie looks the wrong way - Dave|
|Chaos - Photo Phillip Gray|
Turns out the spin bike did wonders and I darted off the line to slot into 3rd place just behind professional XC weapon and ex-olympian Sid Taberlay. For this first stretch of the race I had the strangest sensation of floating, with none of the suffering I normally associated with cross. Oddly I was going proper fast, as fast as I ever have in a CX race, and no amount of energy sapping sand runs nor momentum crushing off off-camber/uphill corners could rain on Sunday afternoon.
Such was my feeling of pace that I had the audacity to
attack our lead trio coming through the start finish line. Every lap I had seen
the two in front sit up, and punching along the straight I pushed a gap of 50 metres,
much to the support of the vocal crowd who, like me, were sick of watching an off road bunch ride.
Holding the lead on the run and through the twisty flat back of the course
through the trees, it was one of these final corners which would prove my
downfall . I pushed my front wheel too hard and rolled off my tubular tire,
leaving me floundering in a cloud of very un-belgian dust. Damn.
A quick analysis revealed the tire was well untruly unstuck,
as was my race, and with nothing left to do I shouldered the bike and ran as
smoothly as one can in Sidi Dragons to the pits for a lightning wheel change.
Back rolling, the ethereal feeling of earlier had gone, whether through the
effect of the run or more likely the psychological deflation of doing so well
only to let it all slip away.
|Ollie leads the sandy run - Photo Dave|
|Antics (and facials) like this cost Ollie the lead - Photo David Rome|
|Photo evidence of the 'gap' - Photo Dave|
|Barrier of doom - Photo Phillip Gray|