Well it has been a long season in one respect but just one National Series race to go and then all off-road minds turn to cyclocross…great.

Down to Mike Leaney and myself for this race. Rain in the night left the course muddy and slippery for Mike first thing resulting in an off. Sharon and I both shouting at him to hurry up and then realising that he had a massive crash and was covered in mud …oops .. not helped by derailing a chain but despite this still managing 11th and within easy reach of 10th which is fantastic.

It dried up for me in the afternoon but I still managed to have a fairly big off or two. Not pretty but managed to just take the win.

I noticed a post about the TDF and some discussion about there being less teamwork in MTB and Cyclocross. I actually tested this to the limit this week and found that being part of this club is the only reason I manged to even get to the start line.

My bike was damaged at Eckington and was unrepairable. I had 5 days of hell trying to source parts, chivvy bike shops etc. On Friday I was still battling with it all and no bike to ride and the dark reality of not being able to ride loomed.

Mike Leaney, Sharon Mcarthy and Graham Whiting all offered me their bikes ... I am not known for my finesse so this was a risk!

Mike as usual came up with many possible solutions on the Friday that I hadn’t even thought of so thank you Mike …and for offering Sharon’s bike.

As it happens Graham rides the same bike as me but in a larger size (And with a much better finishing kit than mine as any self-respecting Engineer would) so I opted for this.

It was a mental challenge for me to adapt and I couldn’t even attach the number board as I was in such a state on the Sunday morning. It wasn’t pretty but after a text to Graham he reminded me of a yoga practice I should do and “…Just get on and ride….” and I was back on track.

I followed this up by watching Mike’s race with Sharon (Who made me laugh for an hour and I still don’t believe you Sharon!!) and the pressure drifted away. This all proved to me that however tough you are this is a team sport and at some point you will need team mates.

I hope that one day I will be able to do the same for someone in a similar situation. So my win was a multiway effort really and thank you for all your help Mike, Sharon and Graham.

Thank you also to Team Cooper for your support at the race and all the well wishes and encouragement from old friends, club mates and club associates before and after the race. Wouldn’t have done it without you all…teamwork ….Reyt now to CX.

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