Zolder Cyclo-Cross World Cup - 26/12/12
Hope rider Jack Clarkson got in touch with us with news from the Boxing Day Cyclo-Cross World Cup event in Zolder, Belgium.
Hugo Robinson, Jack Clarkson & Luke Gray
Still working his way back into form after illness during the first couple of months of the current 'Cross season, Jack has joined fellow Brits Hugo Robinson and Luke Gray for an intense period of racing over the Christmas/New Year holiday, before returning to the UK for the final round of the National Trophy and the National Championships on 12th - 13th January.
At Zolder, the trio were gridded towards the back of the field due to their relative lack of UCI ranking points. With the start so important in 'Cross, this is a huge disadvantage, though it does make for some action-packed racing in the middle of the main field as everyone battles to move up in the first couple of laps.
For the first half lap Luke, Hugo and Jack fought hard to make progress, constantly swapping positions amongst the other riders. Jack got bogged down in the traffic, but Hugo and Luke managed to make their way up the bunch and were soon involved in some competitive racing around 30th position.
Luke was showing his strength on the technical and fast course and he moved up well until he was slowed by a change bikes following a mechanical.He went on to finish in a solid 33rd position.
Hugo was racing around 35th postion and still moving forwards when, on a technical downhill section, he had a very spectacular crash, clearing both barriers and putting himself in the crowd. Wisely, with a badly damaged bike, and feeling the effects of the crash, he decided to call it a day.
Jack reported he was in the mix for the first half a lap "before I settled in around 40th postition for the first half of the race, then I lost my momentum a bit and dropped back to finish in 46th place."