BC National Trophy Rnd.3 – Handsling Racing Report
Scott rides for the Handsling Racing team and is reporting from the National Trophy Series. Round 3 took place at Moorways Sports Village, Derby 28 October 2023.
Highs and lows
A decent result in the previous Trophy race finally gave me a decent spot on the grid. A much bigger field this week though, as Derby is in the Midlands and accessible to more riders. The venue is a sports village with leisure centre, football fields and a running track. The course builders made full use of the banks and “bomb hole” on site to make a tricky course. I was there representing Handsling Racing in the vet 50s race.
We had one of the best-ever commissaire briefings as we took to the start line. “We’ve had to make two small changes to the course. Firstly, we’ve trimmed one corner as the race line was starting to encroach on a football pitch. Secondly, and more importantly, someone in a previous race managed to disturb a bees’ nest. So we’ve taken out the banking in that area.”
Slip sliding away
Blast on the whistle and we’re off! The start was nice and straight and I used it to move up a good few places. Then into the first muddy patch and someone went over the bars. This meant I lost a load of places and bashed my knee; got going again fairly well though. Then we came to the first climb of the bridge.
This was a steep one and came just after a couple of bends. As we were last race off on the Saturday, there was plenty of mud on the slope. I hit it as fast as I could, but the guy in front lost his rear wheel, fell over diagonally and brought three or four of us off. I found myself slipping down the bottom of the ramp, which was really tricky to clamber back up on foot. So I made good use of the scaffolding to haul myself up the ramp.
Steady as she goes
I pretty much held my position after that. The course was muddy in places and had become unrideable in some areas due to previous races. I still need to work on my running as the first couple of running sections saw my heart rate spike dramatically. Walking rather than running cost me a few more positions. Finally got going on lap 3 and was thinking of swapping bikes when the chequered flag appeared. I must have been just lapped which is annoying (for lots of reasons!) I finished the race hardly out of breath, showing that I didn’t get it all out for sure. My coach was there for the weekend and gave me a few pointers to take in to future races – getting the power down earlier out of corners for example. Always something to improve upon!
A sting in the tail
After dodging the bees, I returned to my car only to find I’d been given a parking ticket! Argh! Made for an expensive day out. Still, these Trophy events are great fun, the courses challenging, and the camaraderie second to none. It’s nice to chat to people who have also travelled from all over the country to ride around a muddy field!
The next event is Round 4 on the 11th and 12th November at the Torbay Velo Park, Paignton.