Falmouth Bike Park Cyclo-cross

On Sunday, 14th December, Taw Velo riders made their way down to Falmouth Bike Park for round 11 of the South West Cyclo-cross league. The previous weeks rain made sure that riders where going to find the course very slippy and testing.

Louis Garnsworthy made an excellent start in the under 8s race on the shortened circuit. 8 riders set off from the start line, with Louis making a sprint straight off the starting line. Within a lap young Louis had taken a significant lead over the other riders. The course had a number of berms, rollers and steep off camber declines. Louis managed to remain in the lead for the full duration of the race and also lapped a number of riders.

Ellen Garnsworthy had a successful race in the under 10s and 12s race coming in first for the under 10s girls. In all 14 riders lined up on the start line for the 20 minute race, on a course that had now been extended to take on more twist and turns. Sam Medland from one and all racing made a very impressive break on the first lap and opened up a 30 second lead on second place Pilgrim Flyers rider. Edward Armstrong managed 5th in his age category.

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George Armstrong, aged 15, entered the under 16s race which included the adult novice category and used the full track for a 30 minute race. The course was more in line with a downhill type event, top half of the course included a long section of the Falmouth Bike Park downhill section. More riders meant the track was now starting to deteriorate and the grass was turning into a mud bath, which started to stick to everything and make the task harder. Local riders who generally ride the downhill section found the Cyclo-cross course much harder and the different skill set more of a challenge. George was determined not to let local talent affect his charge on the league title, so made for a break on the first lap. His gamble paying off as on the second lap his was over 30 seconds ahead of second place rider. By the end of the race George had opened up over a minute and half on the second place rider and lead Novice adult racer.

The main race was next with around 70 adults taking part in an hour long race. Previous racing and practice laps meant the course was mainly now a mixture of mud, leaves and grass meaning cornering was much trickier and meant riders had to test all their bike handling skills. The whole course was much different from any other Cyclo-cross course, events are normally run over relatively flat circuits with some obstacles thrown in, however this was more of a 50% downhill and 50% uphill. The course contained a mixture of off camber cornering and a steep descents which transverse across farm fields, once down the hill the task would then be to climb back to the top tackling the mud, high steps and other riders. Excessive mud caused mechanical problems for a large number of riders with damaged wheels, punctures or rear derailleur problems.

Next race is in the New Year at Plymouth City Motopark on Sunday, 4th January. Full event details are available on the British Cycling and South West Cyclo-cross websites.