Whickham, RD3 Neccl, changed all that … although the weather on the day was fair, no rain and mild, the fact the course sits nicely on a hillside and previous days of rain gave rise to the usual sticky mud that this course is known for.
The course itself was a great mix of a slippy long descent with switchback corners to try and negotiate … a long drag/run back up to the bmx track then even a section of wooded singletrack before a ride back to the pits and a slippy set of corners before starting the descent again.
What Whickham is really famous for is the course mix of sticky mud and sections of gravel which tears off mechs and hangers at will !!
Unfortunately the first victim of the day was Cross Club rider Rob Walker, snapping a rear mech on his practice lap so was resigned for the first time this season to the sidelines and took on the role of team heckler.
I managed to get a good start but a lead group formed ahead of me that I just couldn’t get across to… I need to work on this … Soon enough the race began to develop at a fast pace as the course started to take its toll quickly on bikes.
Quicker than I could reel riders back the course was tearing their bikes up … as the laps went by the lead group had been decimated by mechanicals and although I lost a few places later in the race I still found myself in 5th place at the end.
I would like to take this placing as a move forward in terms of fitness but in reality the field was thinned by the course devouring their bikes, I prospered on this occasion as the trusty Fuji held together although it had gathered its own weight again in mud during the race.
Photographs thanks to Grace and Jay