James Waddington, Velosport & X-Bionic customer, reports on his 3 Peaks Cyclocross Race in the Yorkshire Dales.
Last Year I took part in my first 3 Peaks Cyclocross race in the Yorkshire Dales, the race is 38 miles, of which 34 is rideable (20 cross and 18 road) and 5000 feet of climbing.
Being a Northerner the race is a bit of a rite of passage, if you want to call yourself a cross racer. Last year I finished in 3hrs 33mins 33seconds and just missed the elite certificate by 3 mins 33 seconds….grrrr, blasted 3’s.
This year armed with a minuscule of experience I thought I could get under the 3hrs 30mins barrier.
I happened to walk into Velosport when they were having an open day to try out the X Bionic range of clothing, I borrowed a set of the Twice shirt and shorts to go Mountain Biking and I was honestly taken aback how good this stuff is (I’m a cynical Northerner). There is lots of technical literature to describe what the clothing does but from my point of view it keeps you cool on a hot day (first try out in it was 34 degrees Celsius) and massively reduces the vibration you experience on the down hills which in turn reduces the fatigue on your muscles. Therefore, you can ride harder for longer.
All year I have been working on my riding position to become more efficient with help from Steve at Velosport, which has worked out really well, my power is up but more importantly for something like the 3 peaks I can actually walk and run when I get off the bike – apparently cycling isn’t meant to leave you walking like a 90 year old with a bad back!
So my season wasn’t going too badly, I recovered from the broken collar bone and did ok in a few MTB races – an 8th and 7th places at Cat A regional races, however, life gets in the way. Holiday saw me lose that load of form and then an unexpected trip to South Africa in August on the Spirit of Amrok VW sponsored International off-road driving competition…. which turned into a massive drinking session!
So, I arrived at the start line with not much in the way of form and to put it bluntly I got found out. The last section coming down off Whernside towards Ribblehead is quite pedally and its here I knew I was in for a long afternoon, I downed about 5 gels and cracked on along the road but as soon as it went up towards Pen-y-gent, I went backwards, it took about 3 years to get to the top.
I finished 7 and a bit mins slower than last year.
The plus points were that the compression parts of the X bionic Effektor really helped with localised muscle fatigue on those long descents and kept me cool on the climbs. Last year my muscles were really sore during and after the event and the help I received with the bike fit meant that I could leap off the bike and start running, it’s just a shame that this year I just didn’t have the miles in the legs.
There’s always next year!