Cyclo-Cross National Trophy Round 1 - Rider Interviews
Jan van Dael - Elite: The course was incredibly dry with lots of long drags. In the beginning I was in a small group, I made sure I was in front going into the nasty little climbs and we were on full gas every lap. We seemed to lose a rider every lap on the way round and soon it was just me and Paul (Oldham), he was just a little stronger than me coming into the finish I knew he had it. I tried to attack on the last lap but I couldn't shake him off my wheel. It was very very fast, nearly like a road race out there, but much harder as the race splintered into lots of small groups. I'm very happy with the result though, there was not much else I could do my legs were completely dead at the end. I'm looking forward to coming over to do some more of the Trophy's now, lots more fast racing to come!
Paul Oldham - Elite: That's 3 wins out of 3 now so far this season so it's all got off to a good start. It doesn't suit me at all when conditions are like they were today but I got in a little group of about 6 or 7 riders at the head of the race. Jody Crawforth rode into the planks, Ian Field punctured, so I made the most of their misfortune and got away with Jan and we got on with it really got our heads down. I did a lot of work out their to make sure we stayed away as I didn't want Jody or Field to come back and then I got the win in that sprint, which isn't like me at all!
Training has been going well and obviously playing dividends. I've been working on my speedwork. This was obviously the result I came for but I'd have been happy to have been there or there abouts really, as it was down as one of my least favoured courses, it just doesn't suit my style of riding, so to get the result here was excellent. Having said all this I'll go rubbish now when I hit the other courses! The plan is to go for race wins and the jersey is just a bonus, it'll be easier this year with a new team member, Dave Collins, he did his job good and proper today didn't he, hopefully we'll have a good outing for the rest of the season now.
Steve James - 2nd Junior: It's been a long season off road and I'd only just got over the jet lag after coming back from the Worlds last week, so I entered this race as a fun winter thing to do. I wasn't expecting any good results. Dan just went from the gun and unfortunately I didn't get the best of starts, the guy in front of me couldn't get into his pedals. From there I got myself into the race and decided to stick to Tom Moses or Luke Gray's wheel and see what happened. Tom crashed as we made an attack, he went off into the tape and never really got back up to us, I took advantage and then managed to get away from Luke as well. Luke started to make a move back to me with just a few laps to go but I put in the big effort and opened up the gap again and was pleased to come home in second. Looking forward to the rest of the season now, lets see if I can stay on that podium and maybe even get a win in.
Dan McLay - Junior Winner: I really enjoyed that race; the dry conditions really suited me, so yeah really pleased with that result. It was pretty fast with quite a few twisty bits that I pottered through and then put the power down on the straight bits. I felt pretty good on the day had a good start and used a few road sprints to get clear and then just concentrated hanging on for the win.
Maddie Horton - 3rd Woman: My first National Trophy, that was really hard but I really enjoyed it, I had a bit of a slow start and had to battle on and it was good to chase those ahead. I have to say the hurdles were an experience in their own right; I can't do those, not what I'm used to when I'm mountain biking! Chuffed to get onto the podium on my first go, looking forward to having more fun and to see if I can crack those hurdles!
Gabby Day - Women's winner: That was the result I hoped for I wanted to get a really good start and work on my lead and that all went to plan. I worked hard the whole race with the European races I do foremost in my mind as they are always flat out the whole way so I didn't want to ease off the gas at any time out there. It was so dry and fast out there it was more like an off road crit! You had to be so careful coming into the corners as they were so slippery with the dust. It's shaping up to be an exciting season for me, I head off to Italy in 2 weeks for the first World Cup and have a new team, Cycle Fit so it's all looking good. I was delighted to get the win, it's a real confidence boost as I was bit unsure coming into the race as I hadn't been too well, so it was good to get this result.
Lucy Garner - Youth: It was such a close race between me and Beth (Crumpton) I just tried to hang on there, as I knew if it came to a sprint I could probably grab it. It was so fast out there just like a road race really, compared to other cross races! It was just a case of seeing how everyone was going as it's my first time on the cross bike since last season and then give it my all at the end and it worked out perfectly for me. A great day, especially as it's my birthday too!!
Ed McParland - Youth: It was a tough job with us 3 lads out there all doing our part and I got it in the sprint in the end, which is an excellent result. I thought the finish would be closer than it was, but with Sam (Lowe) having his mechanical on that corner I managed to get away, but Hugo wasn't far behind, I could just see him over my shoulder so I thought I'd best put that extra effort in just to make sure. Great opening round and I hope to get a few more like this under my belt but I would prefer a bit more mud and a few more hills!!
Billy Harding - Juvenile: I didn't have a great start and so it was a real battle to get up there with all those tight corners and fast straights. Harvey (Lowe) was in front for most of the race I only managed to get up to him on the last lap at the hurdles, he had trouble getting clipped in after them and I managed to get away from him there. Hopefully the next race I'll have a better gridding and hopefully a better start too.
Chris Young - Vet: I had a fastish start for me, I was in second coming into the first straight but a few guys got round me half way round that lap, I hesitated a bit and that's all it takes for you to lose a few places. Noel (Clough) took off and I tried to chase him down and when we caught him he crashed. Then it was 4 of us until one had a bit of a slip on one of the corners than it was down to the 3 of us. It might have looked like I was sitting on a lot but in reality I was constantly closing gaps coming out of the corners. Ian Jeremiah fell off with a lap to go, which left me and Darren which I though was perfect, so I attacked on the little hill, but he blocked me a little bit which is good race skills so then it was down to sprint finish! I wanted to lead it out so I went for a long one, he was coming back at me all the time but I just managed to hold him off. I figured he was a faster sprinter than me, so saw that if I got round the last corner first I could probably get a good gap and it worked perfectly, racking up another win for Yorkshire!
Martin Eadon - Grand Vets: I didn't see how well I went out there so I'll take your word for it if you say I went well! Geoff Shergold just told me if I'd started with the vets I'd have probably won it by over a minute, but that doesn't mean anything as you're pacing yourself on your race. I think I finished 8th in the vets, but it gets to a stage where you are catching riders in front of you and that does help drag you along so its really a case of recognising what pace you can ride at to sustain your race. I could see Ian (Wright) in hot pursuit, he's very skilful and a great rider, so I knew he'd be one to beat along with Roy (Hunt). Not sure what happened to Roy out there he didn't seem to have such a good race so I just kept my eye on Ian, I could see I was picking quite a few seconds a lap out of him so stuck to a good rhythm and just felt good out there. This is meant to be my premier year, I'm very keen and now I'm trying to keep control and see how I perform over the rest of the year. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some races, I've had a difficult year and this is a release for me.
Ben Roach - under 23: Yeah pretty disappointed with the result. I felt strong at the start, went off like I normally do, keep up with the group and keep an eye who's coming and then I settled into my own pace. Rob had come up to us and I was still tapping out my own rhythm and he seemed to be struggling a bit and we still had 35 mins to go. I got away from him, got about a 10 sec lead and then Will Bjergfelt hit the planks and I got hit in the shin and got a dead leg. By the time I got sorted Rob had got back to me, and I was struggling with my leg. I said to Rob at the end though, ‘You were struggling out there in places' and he said yeah I was breathing out of my behind. I knew that at the time, that's why I attacked when I did, but the dead leg blew it for me. Once he got me after that I just couldn't get on but that's racing, that's how it goes sometimes. So yeah disappointing but I'll be back stronger for the next round and I wont let him anywhere near us then!
Rob Watson - under 23 winner: I'm dead happy, I didn't expect to get that, I didn't even realise I was running second until there were just 2 laps to go. When I found out I just thought to myself I've got to win it! I kept swapping that front place then with Ben and I caught him for the last time near the end and got him in the sprint. The course was excellent and it suited me well, I like the technical courses, especially when they're dry and that straight finish just played into my hands.