Not quite in the class of Clarry, David and Liam’s astonishing efforts on Saturday, but 3 of us pootled off for Round 1 of the Wessex League in Newbury. Central League doesn’t start till early October so a good chance to get some race practice in before then.

‘Mad Dog’ Winter and I were in the Vets race, both 50+ now (nearly typed vest race there….seeing string vests and allotments for a moment!), and Mike ‘Muscles’ Miach was in the Senior race for the more able bodied.

Very tough grassy course with a savagely long, 80m steep climb out the back, fast, hard grassy sections and draining, technical off camber switchbacks. A real tester of a course this early in season.

Its not very often you get a chance to race against the current 50+ World Champion, but thats what happened yesterday. Dave MacMullen from Cotswold Veldrjden was there in his blue jersey with the rainbow stripes. I actually passed him at the end of the second lap…he’d punctured and was running with the bike shouldered to the pits. Needless to say, he got a new bike and promptly passed me shortly after. I did hold his wheel for a lap though, and learned a lot in the process. Namely he is a lots lighter and has way more experience than me. Next time I’ll have him.

I finished about 9th and Mad Dog rolled in 17th claiming that this was not a fair TT course!!
Mike looked good in the Senior race, and came in a creditable 30th in a large field078.JPG

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dave macmullen
IMG_5226. He got a good start and held his own, and claimed to feel comfortable at the end for another couple of laps……….that wasn’t how I felt. The hill became more of a mountain on each lap and I almost hoped for a “strategic mechanical” so I could get off.

Bit of video of the stampede at the start of the Senior race here:

Eventual winner Ben Sumner showing how its done:

If you’re interested in trying it out, don’t wait to come and get involved. The season is over in a blink, and once you try it you’ll be hooked.
Good stuff, and we’ll be down in Oxford next Sunday for Round 2. Hopefully it will rain and “there will be mud”.

Le Dunc

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