Tag Archive for ‘Cyclo-Cross’
Cyclists are a hardy bunch, perhaps Cyclo-Cross Cyclists are the hardiest of them all. On a miserable and bitterly cold February afternoon at Strathclyde Country Park they faced the sleet-fall and muddy terrain with good humour and sturdy resolve. I didn’t hear one complaint all day, maybe because everyone was just happy to finally be having a Scottish Championship after it’s postponement from last November due to the ice-rutted dangerous course?
Demonstrating that the Scottish ‘Cross scene is in burgeoning good shape, there were lots of riders in each category, with the Senior riders going off last and enjoying the nicely churned course in drying but ever-colder conditions.
With the bell approaching, Ferguson finally made his move and he broke clear, able to stretch his lead to around half a minute at the finish line, as he claimed his first national Cyclo Cross title.
We last spoke to Ferguson when he won the Scottish Hill Climb Championship back in October – VeloVeritas is always pleased to see a Scotsman doing the business and we caught up with him again, the day after his win.
We caught up with James after a busy weekend which combined the British Madison Championships, a Revolution meeting and a cyclo-cross.
‘When I were lad,’ the ‘Comic’ (Cycling Weekly) was different – come the winter there was proper coverage of the Six Days and cyclo-cross. It was hard to be unaware of what was happening in the ‘cross’ world – even 40 years later, I can remember John Atkins, Barry Davies, Chris Dodd, Ian Jewell and – Keith Mernickle.
Mernickle was a prolific winner in the south of England but for a long time had to play second fiddle to John Atkins come the Nationals. Until 1976 that is, when the man who was sponsored by a jazz musician, snatched the title from Atkins. Keith very kindly gave of his time, here’s what one of Britain’s finest cyclo-cross riders had to say.
The current state of British cyclo-cross is perhaps similar to how the road scene was before the days of Peter Keen, lottery money, ‘the Plan,’ David Brailsford and Sky came along. No real development system, just the odd talented individual who forces their way through.
The juniors have fared better; with both Stuart Marshall and Roger Hammond bringing home rainbow jerseys. Marshall faded away; whilst Hammond went on to have a long and distinguished road career – with cyclo-cross taking a secondary role in his programme.
But the rider who perhaps aroused the most excitement was a tall young man called Chris Wreghitt.
It feels good just writing the words, National Champion.
I left you at the end of my last blog sat on the sofa watching the Superprestige race in Diegem unable to race due to a back injury.
I am so glad I did that now, taking things easy then really helped make the difference come national champs day, not a hint of injury was in my mind on the start line and I raced pain free (sort of, my legs were still screaming come the last lap).
When we heard on Sunday that our blogger Ian Field had won the British Cyclo-Cross Championship on a dry and sunny day in Suffolk, we wanted to celebrate that win with a chat.
Ian hadn’t stayed in England long – heading back to his Belgian home immediately after the race, to prepare for another event the following day, but we caught up with him today and began by asking him about the weekend.
Whenever there is a long gap between me writing blogs it usually means I have been really busy training and racing hard. This time is no different! I ended the last blog on the disappointment of the Koppenberg Cross and as I mentioned next up would be the Superprestige at Hamme. I got a really good weeks training in between the two races and morale was high as my girlfriend was able to come and visit for just over a week.
Being away from friends and family the majority of the year is hard so when you do get to see them it really makes a difference.
Hey, my lack of blogs and reports are due to me being a busy bike rider over the past few days! I’ll start at the beginning.
After the dissapointment of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde next up was the Kermiscross in Ardooie, a midweek UCI C2 event that gave me a chance to quickly turn things around.
I had ridden the event a couple of seasons ago on one of my smaller but frequent trips to Belgium when I was just dipping my toe into the European cross scene to get a gauge if I could make it in the rough-and-tumble world of Belgian cross…
It seems like a lifetime ago that we (that’s the ‘royal we’ i.e Stef) were packing the car and heading off for the first world cup of the season in Aigle, Switzerland.
Ten days, eight countries and two races later we are on our way home to Oudenaarde.
Having tasted local delicacies along the way I can say hand-on-heart my favourite food is still Italian. Not wanting to write entirely about food though – although it is one of my favourite subjects – I will include the odd incident which hasn’t coincided with mealtime, for those trying to diet…
Some days are good, same days are bad, and some days are a bit of both.
Yesterday was a bit of both which left me very frustrated and disappointed with my result.
It was the opening round of the Superprestige series at Ruddervoorde, I am obviously going well at the moment and had no real reason apart from the fact I didn’t think I liked the course that much to not get another top 20 result…
Hey folks, first round of the GVA series – it’s one of the big three (World Cup, Superprestige and GVA) top 20′s at these races were my aim for the year, I got 13th at Namen.
It’s strange, I almost feel like I don’t need to write about it: 13th at a GVA speaks for itself. A good start, I rode with my head, had good legs and technically rode well on a super hard course. Many people were surprised with my result but deep down I kind of knew after the first two races that I had a big result within me I just didn’t know when it would come out…
We’re pleased to announce that 24 year old Pro Cyclo Cross rider Ian Field has joined VeloVeritas as our newest blogger.
Ian was 4th in the British Championships, and moved to Belgium to try and make it in the big bad world of Belgian ‘cross. In his new blog, you can follow his progress on the international stage, backed by English sponsor Hargroves Cycles.
Following last year’s steep learning curve, Ian is back for more in Belgium, taking another step towards the top of the sport. Follow Ian right here on VeloVeritas throughout the winter!
On a freezing, grey, Sunday afternoon on the frost hardened grass and mud of Dundee’s Caird Park, Scotland’s newest professional, Ross Creber gave his sponsors, Plowman Craven their first national cyclo-cross title.
The slim mountain biker was head and shoulders above the rest; a gutsy ride from Greig Walker (Edinburgh RC) gave him the silver medal ahead of junior, Kenta Gallacher (Team 777) who took bronze.
We all dream about it (or have dreamt about it) but 20 year-old South Quensferry man, Ross Creber has done it-put pen to paper on a pro contract, with Plowman Craven.
VeloVeritas were on the phone, before the ink was dry…