AFTER winning the National Cyclo-Cross Series 19 years ago, Nick Dinsdale of Clitheroe Bike Club competed in the British Cyclo-Cross Championship’s Veterans’ race for over 50s last weekend.
Although Nick finished well down the field, this is his first race season after years of battling with inflammatory arthritis, and only his second cyclo-cross event in the last 16 years.
The 2013 British Cyclo-Cross Championships were held in Bradford in the extensive grounds of Peel Park.
The Bradford course is considered a crowd and rider favourite. It’s tough and exposed, centred on a length of tarmac, which hosts the star and finish area.
The course includes steep muddy bankings, steps and various obstacles, where riders have to dismount and carry their cycles.
The sticky muddy conditions and bitterly cold easterly wind made for even tougher riding conditions.
Races usually consist of six to eight short laps (1.5–2 miles) featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.
National level riders require high levels of aerobic endurance and must be capable of handling repeated bursts at maximum effort while having excellent bike-handling skills. Training often involves 10-15 hours each week, primarily cycling, often in inclement weather conditions. Power-to-weight ratio is a crucial component in successful cycle racing.
Nick would like to thank race mechanic George Nolan, Rachael Walker, Tony Sowden and Mark Dickinson.