The cyclocross season is well underway. Read how Lisa Stapelbroek got on in Clonmel last weekend at the Munster Cyclocross League.
Arriving at Clonmel Racecourse, venue for the 3rd round of the Munster cyclocross league on Sunday there was already a buzz in the air, sounds of the B-race & U16’s doing their laps and kids zipping around in anticipation of their event later on. A spin up to sign on already gave a clue as the the type of course we where being treated to today- grassy / gravel /concrete &
Once the men’s B/U16 races where over we had half an hour to warm up on the course before the role call for gridding started (competitions are gridded based on league standings) in absence of enough ladies for our own race we give the lads a minutes head start before going off in hot pursuit!
The course started off with a wide straight before heading into a sharp bend and up a small slope so it was full gas from the gun, onto a muddy field which was giving me flashbacks to the previous weeks race, a character building mud fest at Fota!
Then into a line of trees that we slalomed through, more flashbacks to the Munster league season opener at Ennis where we got our teeth stuck into an MTB’ish track. Onto a big field with a zigzag of tape to negotiate through before hitting a short steep section including the jumps (small timber barriers that you can either bunny hop or get off the bike and “jump” over), it was clear this was going to be a lung buster!
I love the way each course is so different!
Cheers from the spectators and music pumping from the speakers helped to keep spirits and momentum up as each time the steep section seemed to get steeper, and those small jumps resembled the steeplechase fences I mentioned earlier, 40minutes later it was all over and time for a well deserved cuppa.
As the course was relatively dry the bike wash could wait until I got home.
Onto round 4 in Mallow next Sunday!
Photo credit: John Hammer and Sean Rowe