Cyclo-cross is a highly-specialised sport steeped in tradition; and one never before competed in by Go Veggie members. Mick W recently changed all that by racing in the last two rounds of the Yorkshire Cyclo-cross Association’s 2018-19 winter series.
The sport is traditionally a relatively short (around one hour) affair but is notoriously tough consisting of mostly-rideable, often very technical, and nearly always muddy multi-lap courses that also ordinarily contain man-made obstacles and steep up / downhill sections which force riders to get off and run with / carry their bikes before remounting and continuing to repeat this purgatory all the way to the finish line / exhaustion.
Quite simply, to be competitive you have to sprint as hard as you can off the start line, concentrate like crazy, fully commit to every section and you only back off a bit after the race is done.
The two rounds Mick competed in were Wakefield on 16th December and Todmorden on the 30th - and both lived up to expectations in terms of mud, technical sections, and frequent recruitment of anaerobic systems.
For his first time out in this esoteric arena (at Wakefield) Mick learned quickly and even finished credibly with a 50/125 overall position and 31/52 in age category. At the second time of asking, and with the benefit of the experience of his cyclo-cross career spanning one full hour, the Todmorden round saw him up the stakes rather with a genuinely impressive 22/80 overall position and 13/37 in age category.
Mick seems well and truly bitten by the cx bug and is even considering racing in the summer series.