National Trophy Cyclocross round 5, Bradford

After Milton Keynes a few weeks back I had taken the series lead in the Elite race.

Bradford was shaping up to be a great race, top riders entered, the same tough circuit as usual and heavy rain forecast.

With Sheffield my temporary winter base it meant I could travel to the race on the day, always a nice bonus.

Once there and able to see the course it was clear to see it was very muddy. Similar to Milton Keynes with the mud and a couple of running sections.

I had been looking forward to the race all week and was excited about racing in the yellow series leaders top. To top it off, the guys at Pro Vision had made me a custom skin suit, very cool!

To the start and I was on the front row again. My plan was to do my very best to race with Ian Field as my only chance to keep the jersey would be to beat him. A tall ask, but anything is possible. As the gun fired I had a good start and sooon made it to the front of the race. for lap one I lead the race out and kept out of trouble. Soon a lead group of Ian Field, Ben Sumner and I was formed and we started to go clear. Towards the end of lap 2 I started to pay for my slightly ambitious lap one and started to tail off the group and slip down the field a bit. I tried to limit my losses and hold the wheels, but at one point I had dropped back to 8th place, certainly not where I had hoped to be.

With the mud getting worse and worse, bike changes were every lap. The course was turning to a big mud bath and many sections became tricky to even stay on the bike at all. it was great fun and I felt more comfortable in the conditions than Milton Keynes.

As the race entered the final 2 laps I started to find my legs again and managed to catch and pass a couple of people, putting me in 6th place and racing Steve James for 5th. As we entered the final run section, he managed to take the inside line and this took me off the fast line. From here there was no way I could close the small gap this created and I rolled home in 6th place. Not the result I had hoped for, but ok considering I got a bit carried away lap one.

My time in yellow was quite short lived, but very cool still. I currently sit 2nd in the series and look to try and secure that place in the final round in Derby.

Happy days

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