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  • 2017/2018 cx racing thread
  • ferrals

    Given the proliferation cx-ey threads recently I thought it was about time to start up the cx racing thread for general chat, season aims, race reports etc.

    Not that long to go, I gues most leagues starting mid sept so 6 weeks or so till kick off!

    Personally I’m feeling uber motivated and excited for this season, primarily I think because I’ve not done any super structured training for xc this year and only did 6 xc races whereas last year i did double that and came into cx season already tired. Having a new bike helps 😉 Slightly concerned I’m not fit enough at the moment but going for the shock overload tactic for the next three weeks and will see what happens!

    Got 2 top 10 senior places last year in our regional league so this seasons aim is to get 3! Last year I was focussing on peaking for the Welsh champs which worked well for motivation if not in actuality as I had flu for the month before it! Still no word from WC on when/where the champs are this year but assuming its not a marathon drive I will try and peak for that again. 16th last year, pretty sure I could improve on that.

    Post up your aims, racing plans etc.


    Premier Icon bikebouy

    I took 8 mths off, completely. I’ve jumped back on the CXer in the last month or so, I can’t really count the odd 2-3hr ride here and there in Mar/Apr because they were just pootles. But seems latent fitness is still in my legs, been up and over the Downs a good few times (on my favourite out & back routes) and surprised to find I’m not knackered or that it’s put me off. Racing ? Not short course stuff this year, I may pick one or two events after Xmas (the Rapha Munich SCross was fantastic, so probably do that again) a couple of long distance (6-7hrs) hacks and I may do my favorites like the Dirty Reviver and Monster Miles again and Hell of the North.
    Still love CX, always keep up with the gossip and trends, bikes well sorted and I’ve enough spares to last a good few years yet. No plans to change the bike anymore, did consider a Boone at one point but the TCX I have is too sorted for me and Giant haven’t changed the frame layup since I bought mine.

    Be good to hear what you lot are doing, what’s been bought and how the trainings going.

    Thanks to ferrals for starting a very good and supported thread.

    rich c

    Dates are all in the diary 🙂 and a place in the 3 peaks as well.

    Aims are to improve my national rank in Vet 50 which went from 50th to 58th last season.

    Improve my Yorkshire league result 6th last year, I reckon that will be a hard one to achieve though.

    Not to lose form steadily through the season, don’t think I did enough endurance stuff last season and when it becomes muddy hard n slow I think that showed. Only a 1 bike rider so need to capitalise on the dry courses at the start of the season.

    Race the National champs again and try and do a couple of rounds of the National trophy as well.

    Have a trip to watch a big Belgian cross race, drink beer, eat frites etc.

    Find a venue for the club cross race for 18/19

    Good luck to all.


    I see Welsh league starts with my club race in Cardiff so I’ll be back for that to get an early race in before the Central league starts up here. Absolutely no plans this year other than to enjoy it and hope that my 2 week holiday to Mexico in the middle doesn’t completely ruin my season too much! We have summer league at the moment so no mud but being back on the CX bike riding at pace and mounting and dismounting has highlighted I need some practice after 4 months off the CX bike.


    I see Welsh league starts with my club race in Cardiff

    Think there’s one in the showground first on the 10th? Which is annoying as I’m away for that so will not have any gridding for Llanishen which I really enjoyed the last two years.

    Already busy thinking about ways to improve the Singleton Course. Hoping to cut out the long drag climb and add in a few more twisty bits.. plus have found a great section where theres about three different lines through some trees into a hairpin and then an unridable ditch/ bank after 😀

    edit. to be honest, thinking up course design whether for races or just drills for myself is one of my favourite things about cx, you can let your mind go wild 😀


    I’ll be starting round 6 or 7 of Wessex league as i’m on away for the first few rounds.

    Aiming to do at least 4 rounds, have fun and hopefully get a bit more involved in racing than i have previously.

    I’d like to swap my frame as i’m running a salsa vaya with huuuge chainstays; no funds though…


    No racing for me this season. Broke my collarbone at Easter and various complications mean that it’s unlikely I’ll be riding outside this year, let alone race 🙁

    Trying my hand at running instead.


    Be good to hear what you lot are doing, what’s been bought and how the trainings going.

    I’m looking towards the national events this year as I’m a first-year vet. Not expecting a massive amount as I know how high the standard is, but I like to test myself.
    Nothing new bought apart from a couple of tubulars to replace ones that had reached the end of their days, all my stuff is tried and tested over the last couple of seasons and can’t really be improved on.
    Fitness is getting there, I’ve a lot of work to do but I don’t need to be fully race fit until October so there’s time to fit it all in. I hit last season flat-out and while it got me the end result I wanted I was crawling by Dec/Jan.


    Much like tomthumb for me. Wessex league but going to miss the first few rounds unfortunately. Maybe some other league rounds if not too far to travel.

    First season for cross for me and I’m quite excited about doing something for fun and not having any expectation of myself for a decent result. Had some good fitness going into the road season but it’s been a bit of a disaster for various reasons, not at the peak of fitness but at least I’m fresh! And pretty sure there’s going to be some hard lessons to learn 🙂

    New stuff? Well pretty much everything!

    Mrblobby where are you based? As we sit between Central and Wessex so get a lot to choose from! Think we’ll be doing Central league though as Mr MC wants to give it a darn good shot as he finished 9th last year in Vets. I’m more easy going and just want to have fun this year!

    Looking to buy some tubs, just got some new Baby Limus tub tyres cheap so now just need the wheels!! I’ve been riding clinchers the last 2 years and so far been all okay. It’s the rear mechs that get chewed up!

    Summer CX league tonight… yes I’m ready to rock .. actually no I’m not I’m shattered but good prep for winter.

    First London Summer Series (round 3 of 4) for me tonight. Been on a diet of track, crits and some mucking around on the MTB recently so it will be interesting to see how I’m going.

    I’ll be doing the London League and with a view to racing the Cyclopark National Trophy if I can stay keen until the end of November.


    Season aims. There are two leagues in the NE. CXNE and NECCL. I’m secretary of the latter so my season aim is to get the whole thing sorted with no drama. I’d also like to win a few rounds and the league overall. Managed it in 2015 but wasn’t really racing fit last year.

    Aims for the CXNE are to simply ride a few events. If it is dry (I only have one bike) get a decent placing (top 10) even though I don’t do many so always end up at the back of the grid.

    Probably not going to be able to qualify for the nationals even though they are local as I’m more focussed on hill climbs and the nationals for those are also local!


    I’m toying with the idea of doing the local rounds of the Wessex league – fits in quite well with my reduced distance/hours training.

    I’ll be riding my HT, no pit crew. Gears if it’s not biblical mud possibly single speed (it’s VERY light) if very muddy.

    CX tyres on Crests – what’s the choice?

    Premier Icon simondbarnes

    CX tyres on Crests – what’s the choice?

    Spesh Terra Pros work well for me tubeless on Crests. Have also used Vittoria XG(I think) Pro.

    Premier Icon eddie11

    Keep up the good work jonba neccl has really come back up the last few seasons. It’s appreciated.


    Spesh Terra Pros work well for me tubeless on Crests. Have also used Vittoria XG(I think) Pro.

    I had just come to that conclusion courtesy of your BikeRadar posts! 😀

    as MC says last year I achieved my goal of a top 10 in Central V40. This year I had planned to try race the Masters champs in Mol but being asked to be a best man in Cancun at the same time kiboshed that, and takes out the middle of the season. We raced Central but then did every other race we could, so local Wessex rounds, Welsh champs, Lovecrossed etc.

    We’re also (again) spending the 3 weeks before the season kicks off road riding in the Alps, which will be absolutely awesome, but loads of endurance-pace climbing is completely the wrong training camp for CX!

    I seemed to get stronger as the season went on and my best finish was the last round where I was 4th vet so rather than an overall League position my ‘goal’ is to get on a Central V40 podium, but other than that enjoy it and race as much as possible.

    I don’t do many so always end up at the back of the grid.

    that’s the one thing that’s a bit frustrating about racing other leagues. Central are very good at reviewing entrants BC points and race finishes so we’ve regularly had “interlopers” from Wessex, London etc start on the front row, whereas I’ve been on the back row at Wessex and Lovecrossed (promoted as a standalone but part of the Western League) so I just suck it up and treat it as fun and racing-as-training (though I came 7th at Lovecrossed, and the guy in 6th was also an interloper).

    Mixed feelings about whether we want a muddy winter – be nice to get some use from my pimpy tubs, but getting a bit sick of shedding rear mechs…Between me, MC and a clubmate who races Senior we’ve pretty much sorted a race/pit crew rotation, though it means MC’s pre-race ‘warm up’ and my post-race ‘cool down’ consist of standing still in a windswept pit for an hour….


    Wessex League – dates? Can only see about 5 rounds on BC. Anyone have a link to the whole series?


    [ Hoping to cut out the long drag climb ]

    I hope not Ferrals. Some of us like that sort of stuff.

    My house smells of tub glue and I’ve booked my accommodation for the 3PCX so at least there is some preparation going on. I should be doing some intervals by now in evening sunshine if it ever stops raining.

    Premier Icon mick_r

    Looks like a really good calendar for the NW league with some interesting new venues.

    Also great that they’ve finally split the vets & ladies category – over 170 starters at some of last season’s races was just chaos, with final placing heavily influenced by grid position. Now it will be V50 men with ladies start 1 minute later. Then V40 men as a separate race 1 hour after.

    With a family of 4 racing I’m not looking forward to the cleanup…. And positively hate doing pit duty at the National jetwasher CX champs.

    And Mrs does her first 3 peaks 🙂


    whereas I’ve been on the back row at Wessex and Lovecrossed

    The thing to do here, if gridding isn’t automatically done for pre-entrants based on BC points (as it is at Central and NDCXL) is to have a word with the chief comm and say something like “I have x points and am ranked x nationally, can I start somewhere nearer the front than back?”.
    The comms never have the time at local events to grid everyone and when outsiders turn up, particularly on the day, it’s impossible anyway. Ask in plenty of time and in a nice way and you’ll most likely be gridded, although be prepared to have your claims checked out. The wonder of smartphones 😆

    The thing to do here…

    I did, to which the reply to both me and the Welsh interloper who finished ahead of me was “oh, this is part of the Western League…guess you’ll have fun overtaking ahahahaha”.

    If I was a dick I’d have found him after the event and said “well, Western ain’t that competitive, is it?!” but I know they are volunteers giving up their time to help an event work. We have actually mentioned it to the organiser who frequents this parish (Tang) as it’s likely to be a limiter to Lovecrossed growing – only so many Western League riders will do it (last round so plenty of positions already tied up) and it’ll be a deterrent to those of us coming from further afield.

    The commy at some of the Wessex leagues has gridded me and MC after being asked though.


    Mrblobby where are you based?

    Newbury, so Wessex pretty good for me. Shame I can’t make the early ones as the Newbury one is just down the road.

    don’t do many so always end up at the back of the grid.

    Will be a lot of this for me this year. Frustrating or good training? 🙂


    TO start off with its good fun – you get to pass a load of people 😀

    Personally though, I think the start pretty much defines my position in a cross race, where I am after the first lap is where I’ll be at the end, give or take a couple of places


    Last season, my goal was “not lapped, not last”. I managed that all season.
    This year my riding has been sporadic and my ‘training’ non-existent.
    However, buoyed on top 50 place in the recent BWC, this year I have but 2 aims:
    – Bunny hop the barriers
    – One top 20

    With stretch goals
    – another top 20 to prove it wasn’t a fluke
    – top 15

    I am not very good at racing ‘cross but I do like it. a lot.

    V40s, Central

    On a slightly different note can anyone find me a female CX skin suit!! I have raced Ale for the last 2 years, it’s now dying (after I got speared on barbed wire mid race last year) and I’ve lost weight so is a bit big. Paligap aren’t importing them anymore and I can’t find anything other than the No Pinz which looks like it has a V neck (for the winter!?).

    I work in the industry but can’t find a women’s CX skin suit in the UK! 👿

    MC, why the need for a specific CX skinsuit? I find a normal skinsuit works absolutely fine for most UK racing, I just vary the baselayer according to the temperature. Anyway, try Wildoo:


    Ask in plenty of time and in a nice way and you’ll most likely be gridded

    Unless Kelvin is the comm, he just shrugs. It’s almost puts me off central league races.

    Premier Icon tiim

    Wessex League – dates? Can only see about 5 rounds on BC. Anyone have a link to the whole series?


    In a calendar not a list but basically every Sunday from 17.09 – 10.12 then a couple after Christmas.

    After 5 rounds of Newbury summer CX, three (so far) of Abingdon and three more to come I’m looking forward to the hour long races and trying to make all the Wessex ones.

    – Not get lapped
    – Beat friends
    – Enjoy

    Premier Icon core

    I’m contemplating hitting buy on a cheap CX bike on sale to have a go in some Welsh league races this year, Foxley and Builth are both close, Foxley 15 mins, never raced before, but think the short format would suit me (normally do well on shorter distance XC events over an hour or so) and I’d quite like a CX bike to use on back roads anyway.



    “oh, this is part of the Western League…guess you’ll have fun overtaking ahahahaha”.

    In which case the commissaire was a muppet. Gridding exists for safety as much as performance and sticking someone obviously fast at the back is a recipe for a massive start-straight crash. I’m amazed that this stuff still happens, it tends to be at local events where the comms can be a bit stuck in their ways/behind on CPD.

    On a slightly different note can anyone find me a female CX skin suit!!

    Bioracer – http://www.bioracer.co.uk/en/collection/16321/speedwear-concept-cross-suit-long-sleeve-stratos
    That’s the plain ones but the custom printed ones are certainly available in female cut.

    It’s almost puts me off central league races.

    Central auto-grid now so whoever’s on duty should have you up there to start with, presuming you’ve got some points. Don’t they also make a point of not gridding those who enter on the day? Not ideal in my book (see above) but it’s their gaff, their rules. Have you fallen foul of that?

    Yes I had pre-entered and sent an email. According to the website they still grid by best of 3 central league results. Special exceptions for National Champion level riders…

    I win a race or two a year but I’m no National Champ!


    Whenever I’ve been to Central I’ve done as I suggested further up and it worked fine. To be honest it’s worked fine everywhere except Wales last year but then I wasn’t the only one with a major gridding grievance at that race 😯 😆


    I do mostly Eastern league but some Central and generally don’t get gridded in Central as I enter on the day. I usually find I finish in roughly the same position starting at the back and have caught up with the people I would have been gridded with by half a lap. Eastern grid EOL or in advance so not an issue there.


    stanwell – Member

    [ Hoping to cut out the long drag climb ]

    I hope not Ferrals. Some of us like that sort of stuff.

    We had a few comments the course didnt have enough cross style turns and too many straights. There will still be fair bit of climbing but broken up a bit more. plus a bit more running i think, especially if wet. Also trying to make it a bit more compact as people found setting out on the morning a bit stressful

    core – Member

    I’m contemplating hitting buy on a cheap CX bike on sale to have a go in some Welsh league races this year,

    Do it! a really friendly league, this will be my third season and I’m obseesed!!

    Having a recovery week, but did a bit of run-up / rut riding training for a laugh by the beach this afternoon, got a few odd looks!


    Aiming to ride a few of the Welsh league rounds, not really race them this year. It’ll just be nice to get out there hopefully.
    Ferrals make sure you shout early so I can get out of your way

    Unless Kelvin is the comm, he just shrugs. It’s almost puts me off central league races

    Leggy, at Central rounds speak to Keith Perry, he’s usually parked close to start, doing photos but races V50. He established the league and normally ‘helps’ the organisers of each round with gridding (IE he sorts it). We raced across 5 different leagues last year and Central genuinely seemed to be the most accommodating for gridding. I’ve been effectively bumped a row due to “imposters’ who’ve gone on to beat me, and started next to guys I’ve had race long battles with so it seems pretty dialled.


    Having a brief work break browse. This Cyclephotos.co.uk gallery in particular makes me long for cold and mud! Bpost Bank Trofee at Essen

    And these two images from it say so much about cx!

    Actually excited about doing some training tomorrow morning!

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk

    I’ve got a newborn arriving in a day or two and the first race of the Scottish CX season proper is 1st October, so I’ll basically be getting all my training/practice in on my commute once I return from paternity leave, so 5 weeks sporadic, sleep deprived training 8)

    But, so as not to appear to be getting excuses in early, my adapted MTB (Trek Superfly) with TRP Spyres, 540mm bars, Conti Cyclo X King 35mm tyres and a 38tooth narrow wide up front seems to be perfect for my mid-to-back of the pack aspirations, fast and fun and I didn’t manange to pinch flat round a rooty trail centre red today at 50psi so that’s good.

    Training will consist of my usual 30 minute singlespeed commute, mixing between taking it easy in the mornings (newborn remember) and hilly sprints or sustained 10 minutes efforts on the way home.

    Hopefully get a weekly thrash around my extended 1hr commute which basically takes in as much flat, nadgery singletrack as I could find between the office and home. Even got a sandy bit and a few flights of stairs in there for extra CX points, just hoping we get a bit more rain soon so I can get some more time in the mud

    Anyone else giving the Scottish series a go?


    Good luck with the new arrival!

    Not sure if its your first or not but having become a father in January my tip would be to try and fit in the training on the way to work rather than back. However tired you feel in the morning, its a whole lot worse on the way home after a day in work! Plus typically I found my wife was pretty keen for me to get home and I felt prety bad extending to time home!

    Edit: Cut and pasted from the other thread:

    IdleJon – Member

    Yep, planning for mid-back of the field domination again!

    I might even buy a new bike so that I have nothing to blame for the lack of preparation other than too many pasties and cakes.

    (Have already ridden a cross course with Ferrals, who should be along in a minute. Me on my MTB, sweating along behind the skinny fit thing that is Ferrals. I made my excuses and left to ride proper bikes with proper fat middle aged men. Slowly. )

    Good to see you the other day Jon, I’ve come to that conclusion the course needs to be made a touch harder though 😆

    Premier Icon alwillis

    Made a late decision to join the party with a 2nd hand Paul Milnes ali frameset and some bargain sram rival from CRC.

    No specific training- I’m about to start running again in prep for an Ironman next year, and I will be mixing the Western and Wessex leagues, getting my arse kicked in the senior race. Hoping some old mtb skills and base fitness will be enough not to come last!

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