Last Of The Quaich’s
Well, the end is here. Super Quaich it’s been hard! Last race being in Bo’ness it’s an early one for me. Having had a shocker at Beveridge Park, I think I was relegated or just that crap I didn’t meet the standard for the last race in the series. “B” races have been good to me this year, some dodgy starts but managing to make it into Tenth place a couple of times.
Bo’ness or the full title Borrowstounness is another new part of Scotland I have been to on this year’s Cross Calendar. Didn’t see much of the town itself as I have to keep my eyes peeled for the Docks. See the course tape fluttering in the wind and manage to find a decent spot in the main car park. These early “B” Races have their upsides.
Get my gear sorted, walk the dog around the course and get a feel for the growing atmosphere around this race (the race to be). It’s been amazing how one race has grabbed the title of “The Race”. Will it live up to the name? Don’t know but from what I see from the little village of Gazebos and three catering van’s it looks the business to me. The only thing left is to ride the course to see how it fairs.
Few little laps to warm up and find a pretty flat course, some great riding on the off-camber sections, a belter of a Belgian bomb hole just after coming over the bridge. Then head along to the hardest part of the course. The headwind created from the open dockside is the hardest part, doesn’t last for long but it is still a grind along that section. Have a good practice on the hurdles sections on the course and feeling pretty good and sharp. Massive congratulations to David Hamill and Pete Ward. With their team of Dockers they produced yet again another cracking Cyclocross course. Time to ditch the leg warmers and head for the start line. For this race and probably my only race I have been gridded, with this come a great chance to get the minor prize, the “Hole Shot“. The pressure is on not to Fuck this up and lose a great opportunity to lead the race.
The starting pistol is branded at us once again, in the next 15/10 probably 5 seconds the gun will go and race will commence.
I am on the right of the field so more or less have the perfect line for slight right bend taking us into the Horrible Headwind Section. I Fuck up! Can’t get my foot into the pedal properly, end up just forgetting about at and try and make up my lost positions. No panic I have an hour to make up these positions.
When the first double barriers come onto the scene, I am third and fighting for the lead. Squeeze between the riders, then I remount the bike and get peddling again. I’m in the lead, 120 riders now chasing my wheels. Round the bend, head into the home straight to hear the announcer Jammy on the PA system broadcasting to the crowd “Bryan Hutton from Two Wheel Army is our Leader“. I take the next left-hander, head into the second double barriers, Yip still leading! Hop, Skip and Jump back onto the bike. Pedal my legs off getting back up to speed, have a quick glance behind to see I have a slight gap. Ease off as come into narrow bridge section. Steve MacLuskie from VC Glasgow comes past before we enter tight bridge lane, I jump on his back wheel.
I am on the ground! Halfway along the narrow mushy lane, it takes you into a cobble section. I somehow hit a bad bump taking a bad line onto the gutter, leaving me surfing along a wire fence then hitting the ground and spinning on my arse! Now is the dreaded thought I have taken down the whole bunch. While I rescue my rear wheel from the middle of the course, I notice one more guy off their bike. Once the racers all pass I make my way off the course with Paul Leavy (Sorry again). He came down due to my tangle with the cobbles and losing my rear wheel. (still don’t know how that managed to come off). Two broken rear mechs finish our race day.
Early change for me, my kit has taken a beating. My rightsholder is in tatters, even my base layer is in shreds. I am fine, a few cuts and bruising but feeling utterly gutted, for me and other riders involved. I like to think I am a decent rider and not an accident waiting to happen. (some would disagree here) Would have felt better if it was only me affected. Time to grab my camera, get Mac the dog for a wander around the course and take some pictures. It was a great course and after my great start, I really think I would have gotten my highest placing of the season. Got the win? Not sure! Might have faded later on in the race as fitness is nowhere I want it to be. Top five would have been a real possibility. Ah well, always next year.
The Cross season is just about over, not sure if I can manage the last two remaining cross races coming soon. My Cyclocross Helmet will be hung up and Road Helmet shall be getting an airing for Crit racing again.
Super Quaich I have loved you, also hated you. Loved the format, great racing and a good concept with points up for grabs for most people. Hated my results, but that’s all my fault and something to work on for next season.
See You Next Year Quaichers.
Thanks to all who let me use there images: Ken Qed, The Press Room, JP Baxter. Thanks to Ross Wood for the Youtube clip on “Hole Shot” link.