Hempton Cross

Location: Hempton, Fakenham NR21 7LG, United Kingdom

Massive respect to the marshals and spectators on a day that started benignly enough, but turned into a monsoon as soon as the women/vet-50 race was underway. That race and the two races after it were played out in filthy conditions that tested rider abilities and made some of the climbs almost impossible to scramble up. "Proper cross racing", was how a few people described it!

My race

Once again I had a good start, hitting the tricky gravel section in 3rd place after a 30mph sprint up the road. I took the lead after team-mate Paul Groombridge took a spill at the bottom of the flinty descent, but only for a minute or so as Ian Newby (Diss & District CC) steamed past me. On the second lap I suffered a pinch flat down the flinty descent, and was rapidly overhauled by Groombo and then by Tony Birt (Ipswich BC). My bike change left a lot to be desired: firstly I took almost 30 seconds to find my spare bike, and then remembered that the saddle height was too low and the tyres were too hard. Still, I persevered on it and thankfully managed to hold onto 4th place - but it was only due to a comfortable lead above the chasers that my dismal spare bike change and setup that I didn't lose places. Birt and Groombo were riding strongly on a quite demanding course, so I don't think that even a perfect bike change would have allowed me to get back up with them.

First lap or so of Hempton Cross

Ride on 2014-11-16 13:31:50, at Fakenham with 2 others

Gear: Specialized Crux Elite

5km in 0:15:29

Average speed18.5 kmh
Max speed46.4 kmh
Average heart rate64 bpm
Average power139 Watts
Elevation gain34 metres

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About the author

My name is John Swindells and I'm a keen recreational cyclist with a preference for long one-day rides. I've also previously dabbled in time trialling and cyclo-cross. See more of what I get up to on Strava!

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