Baptism by mud

Mon Nov 21

Yeovil Cycling Club’s veteran rider, Mark Fisher, and TRI UK’s Heidi Gould saw action at the weekend in Round 4 of the British Cycling’s Cyclo-cross National Trophy Series, held at Torbay Velo Park.

Fisher, as a relative novice and competing in what would be his fourth ever cyclo-cross race, lined up at the back of the starting grid, in 47th position, in Saturday’s Men’s V50 race. The first 500 metres of the course was the most technical and in the scramble for position during the opening lap Fisher gained a couple of places. Even though this was the first race of the weekend, much of the middle wet and boggy section of the 2.65Km long course was already churned up and unrideable, meaning that the riders had to run with their machines through the long sections of ankle deep mud. Running with his cyclo-cross bike was a new and testing experience for Fisher. However, he had an incident free race and finished in 43rd place, just being lapped by the leading rider, former multiple National Champion Nick Craig (Scott Racing), and the second placed rider, in the closing minutes of the race.

Gould competed on Sunday against some of the country’s top female cyclo-cross riders in the Women’s flagship event, the Women’s Elite race. Gould, an amateur rider, put in a strong performance against a field made up of mostly younger and full time professional riders. Gould, being more experienced in longer distance Mountain Bike marathon races, found the early pace and the amount of running in the muddy conditions tough going, but recovered and “found her legs” towards the end of the race, finishing in a well-deserved 11th place in her category.

Fisher, Gould and TRI UK’s Darren Matthews next see action this coming Sunday, in the South West Cyclo-cross League’s Regional Championships, which is being held a Newnham Park near Plym

Dave Notley