I only had two major events on my hit list this year:
TransGermany Mountain Bike Race and the 3 Peaks Cyclocross Race
TransGermany proved to be so much more than I could have imagined, my best ever time on a bike.
In the run up the 3 Peaks Cyclocross I was feeling a real sense of dread.
I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.
It is a tough event at the best of times but the weather leading up to this years edition only served to increase my unease.
Now as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am what is technically known as a ‘scrawny get’.
Cycling is one sport where this is often a benefit, but it does leave me prone to getting very cold, very quickly.
After my real suffering on the last day of TransGermany due to the cold and wet conditions, the prospect of lugging my bike up the 3 highest peaks in Yorkshire in similar conditons worried me.
My good friends and fellow 3 Peaks Cyclocross competitors Ryan Henry and Geoff Beetham tried their best to assuage my fears, but I was scared.
As we stood on the start line in non-stop rain, I zipped up my waterproof.
The zip broke.
This was going to be a long day.
It was hellish, the rain was constant, the wind, reaching speeds of 50 mph.
The ground was barely visible as most of it was submerged.
Even the usual cameraraderie that makes the 3 Peaks Cyclocross such a special event was lacking.
Everyone was simply gritting their teeth and getting on with it.
The highlight of the whole day for me was riding through the lake that had formed on the track up to Pen Y Ghent.
I am not exaggerating when I say that it was up to the headtube on my bike.
So from really not looking forward to it, I went to simply laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.
I finished 90 places higher than last year, and I left Helwith Bridge smiling.
It really is a magical event, once it gets under your skin it changes you in subtle but significant ways.
That night my teammate, Rob Watson and I, spent several hours sharing the funniest sights and events that we had experienced during the race and making our plans for next years race.
I think we were both coming to terms with one of the toughest races we’d ever done.
Ryan Henry – Flatout Cycles – 9th
Geoff Beetham -Retrobike – 14th
Rob Watson – Dirtwheels Cycles – 35th – 1st Under 23
Ruairi Revell – Dirtwheels Cycles – 100th
Ben Cooper – Dirtwheels Cycles – 152nd
Nick Elder – Dirtwheels Cycles – 162nd
Davey Johnston – Dirtwheels Cycles – 170th
Terry Beddis – Dirtwheels Cyles – 382nd