Muddy Madness

Last weekend saw a big chunk of the team head to York for Round 4 of the National Trophy Series. York Sport is a new venue for the series, but they delivered with a very technical and physically-demanding course, made all the harder come Sunday, with a day of racing on Saturday, and heavy rain overnight. Magspeed were also represented on Sunday at the Western League, with Mike Brunsdon back in the fold with a solid 7th place against some very tough competition, including Liam Killeen.

In York, on Saturday, Team Orange were represented by Tomo and our new signing, Tracey, for a fast and fun race. Raring to go in her brand-new kit and ready to defend her green jersey as leader of the series, Tracey was first on the start line on Saturday. A solid performance earned her a brilliant 2nd position in the race and ensured she kept her lead in the series – WHAT a cracking effort from out new girl.

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Up next on Saturday was Tomo in the Vet 40 race who had, as ever, a strong line up to compete against – it was full on from the gun. A poor gridding once again meant for a tough start to the race, as Tomo had to battle through ‘traffic’ on the opening laps and then managed to get into his rhythm and get his head down and come back with a solid 20th place!

A night of heavy rain carried on into the morning for day two of proceedings at York Sport and the first race of the day – the Junior Men’s race. As the rain poured, the Juniors blasted down the tarmac start/finish straight and Sam, having had a front row start again, was right up there heading into turn one. Sadly for Sam, being up front didn’t last too long…with a mid week training crash he wasn’t on top of his game leading into the race and was struggling to run – and due to the heavy rain, there was a lot of running! Sam held his own for as long as he could but slowly faded back and, with a few crashes, it was a character-building day for our lad. He even rode quarter of a lap with his bars at 90 degrees after coming down on the treacherous off-camber section on the outside of the velodrome. A spirited effort by the young man saw him fighting until the end and picking off a few places on the last lap. Roll on Ipswich and hopefully full fitness for the youngster.

The remaining Magspeed riders pre-rode the course in the official practice session at 12.30 and then it was time for Phoebe to get muddy. Here is her take on events:

I entered the York round of the National Trophy on a bit of a whim. Most of my team mates were going so I knew it would be a good laugh even if I wasn’t expecting a stellar result. Work had been pretty tough the couple of weeks leading up to the race and I wasn’t sure how well my legs would go. Thankfully it poured with rain on the morning of the race. Nothing makes me feel better about racing than rain and I go much better when it’s muddy and I always enjoy a muddy race whatever the outcome.

Arriving at the race the course looked interesting. Lots of tricky off-camber, a bit of running and some fast ‘flowy’ corners. I pre-rode the course with Scot and Scotty, demonstrating all the best lines! The guys accompanied me to the start line for gridding. I’ve really missed being a part of such a supportive team, going to races with my team mates always helps dampen down the nerves and the guys were great, they kept me super calm and as I lined up on the start line I felt the best I’d ever felt starting a race.

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The whistle blew and we hit the tarmac sprinting hard. The start was wide and fast and I knew this was my chance to make up some places, At Derby I’d hesitated and got a bit psyched out by the start, I was determined that wasn’t going to happen again. I kept jumping from wheel to wheel before we hit the mud. I’d gone from back row to top 20 so I was on it. Unfortunately 2 corners later I rode in to a poor girl laid out on the floor. As I tried to avoid her I hit someone to my right. Frantically apologising as riders flew past me, I was on the back foot again. The race passed with a blur. I kept pressing on as much as I could on the faster sections and tried to be smooth on the slippery mud. I kept moving forward and finished 25th. Considering at one point I think I’d been nearly last I was really pleased with how I rode.

My work wasn’t done though. I had a quick shower, but had forgotten my towel, so had to dry myself with a spare warm-up jacket! Warm kit on and back to the pits to support the boys. Thankfully I was well looked after in the pits with Sam and Stu so I only really had to do the bike changes and nothing too strenuous.

Once the boys finished we gathered round the van for tea and a mince pie. Racing at York in the mud with my team mates reminded me why I love bikes and love bike racing. Last season I really struggled to find the love for it. This season I’ve fallen back in love with all things cyclocross. I cannot wait for the next one. I might even enter Shrewsbury!

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Last race of the day was the Senior Men’s and Scot and Scotty took to the start line in what was going to be a mudfest! The rain had stopped but the damage to the circuit had been done, a VERY muddy circuit awaited them… The whistle blew and they were off, sprinting to the first corner and then off into the mud, team orange weren’t quite so orange anymore! Within a few laps the bike changes started and thankfully, due to it being very wet mud, the bikes weren’t clogging too much, but the gritty brown stuff was getting everywhere… The two Magspeed boys had a race-long battle with each other, having plenty of fun along the way, slipping and sliding their way to the chequered flag!

Once again, a great team weekend out at the races and the team morale was very high and it was great to welcome another new rider to the line up!

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