Ashorne in Warwickshire hosted the 2010 Championships, and greeted the forty plus souls that made it there with a temperature of -12 and deep laying snow. The original line up had seventy two riders on the start sheet, but the weather put paid to many a riders plans .
The course was 'old skool' and designed by Mick Ives. The usual hurdles were replaced with old fashioned fences and the course ran through fields, woodland and a working farm. A few practice laps were priceless, for under the picture postcard snowy landscape lay a myriad of frozen solid tractor ruts, that would later send many riders airborne. I let as much air out of my tyres as possible and lined up with the forty plus assembled riders. I looked side to side and wondered how many of these guys held the one hundred and seven international and national titles that had been listed in the race info.
I got my answer pretty quickly, all of them I reckon as I hung on third from last breathing like a rusty train! I kept a few in sight and made ground through the woodland singletrack, but swiftly lost it in the open fast ground. This sadly was the pattern for my whole race until for a bit of variety I took a big off leaving a streak of the red stuff in the snow and my bars and levers having an argument with each other. I was forced to walk back to the marshals intending to quit. However they encouraged me to go on for what was probably my last lap. It turned out I had two left, the first one was dreadful as my mojo had totally gone and I was all over the place. I calmed down for the final one, got around cleanly and gained a place in the final metres.
I came 19th, or so the results say, but they only list twenty two finishers. Was/could the attrition rate be that high.
The race was a nice end to a dreadful year, marred by the accident that cost me a lot of racing. 2011 has to be accident free...touches wood,fingers crossed etc and hopefully I'll be lining up for the Belgians for the first road race of the year.