Ever wondered what it's like to ride a cyclocross race, this bit of video from Sunday's Todmorden Cyclo Cross race will give you a taste… although it has to be said that it probably isn't the most typical British cyclocross race, what with the brass band and the cobbles oh, and the very steep climb, known as the Chimney. (For even more of a flavour check out Joolze Dymond's race video and interviews a bit further down).
Organised by Singletrack editor, Chipps Chippendale (dunno where he gets the time) the idea is to bring a touch of Belgian cyclocross to Yorkshire, well they already had the cobbles and the brass band it just needed the Belgian beer and frites (come to think of it they already had the chunkier version of them too) and those were sorted too with the winners sprayed with magnums of Chimay beer Belgian style.
in the few short years it has been going the Todmorden Cross, held on the 2nd of January has established itself as a big fixture on the northern cyclocross circuit, it's part of the Yorkshire Points Series and attracts not only a large field but a top quality one too with many riders using it as part of their warm up for the National Championships.
This year's race was as dramatic as ever, with the post-Christmas thaw meaning riders had to tackle some really gloopy conditions and on one section of the course some marker tape with a mind of its own. Last year the snow was still on the ground when the race was run, which meant that brutal cobbled climb had to be left out on safety grounds - this time though the Chimney was open for business.
The senior race was eventually won by a slightly bemused Chris Young who actually crossed the line in third place but Rob Jebb who finished first was disqualified for turning back to the pits when his rear mech gave up the ghost, just after he'd passed the pit, but the mechanical had basically cost him the race anyway; while Jack Clarkson, the next man back was penalised 20 seconds for riding outside the tape and so ended up back in 3rd place.
It's a cruel sport all right.
A full race report and results can be found on the British Cycling website
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.