CXL V40s Round 3: Hemel Hempstead
11:50am It’s a perfect sunny morning, 12 degrees, no wind. Warm up and lap recce’s done. Hemel is ready to unleash its next race on this awesome dry course, with its climbing, fast twisting descents, the spiral feature, hurdles and more. This is set up perfectly to be a tough cyclocross crit race.
11:55am The whistle blows! It’s call up time for the 83 riders in the V40s. Rockos, Phil Wilkinson and
12:01pm The commissionaire calls 1 minute to the start. Riders do ther last minute checks, sips of drinks, click one foot in. The adrenaline and nerves build. We hear the 15 second shout. The Rockos wish each other luck. We wait anxiously for the whistle to blow. 5,4,3,2…… 1.
12:02pm They’re off. Phil and Warren click in smoothly and blast down the first straight into the first right hand corner and into the first climb. Weaving in and out of riders. The start was quick, frantic and crash free. The Rocko’s get a good start picking off riders as the first lap takes shape, but then they hit the spiral, bottle neck time, riders pushing each other, getting stuck behind each other. The first 20 or so riders are gone at this point. Finally we get out of the spiral, Phil gives Warren a helpful push out the way as he drives forward and out of the mess as Phil gets caught up more. The race soon gets to its normal mini groups of racing and chasing each other down. The course was dry, fast, technical and each hill and burst of acceleration just sapped you even more of your vital energy. But the Rockos didn’t give up, they rode well and strong. As the race progressed Phil was only a few riders off Warren and found the inner strength that he always has and started to reel Warren back in, but in the closing laps Warren managed to add in a few bursts to just hold Phil off and finish in 50th place with Phil coming in 53rd. Both completing 5 laps. At the end of the race, when both Rockos had finally cooled down, got their heads back together after the grueling race they’d just put themselves through. They smiled, shook hands and reflected on what a cracking tough race it was with all the other riders around them.
What a day.
Love of mud.