4 Feb 2013
When Yorkshire cyclo-cross enthusiast and leading veteran of the sport Matt Denby decided to celebrate the 2013 World Championships in style, he didn’t anticipate either the enthusiasm for his idea, or the problems he would encounter in delivering his dream.
A live streaming of the final afternoon’s action in a gastro pub, with appropriate refreshments laid on, soon pulled in the fans, all keen to enjoy an end-of-season bash, good company and good old ‘cross comfort food (and drink!).
Belgian racing jerseys and the Flemish Lion, key accessories for the discerning 'Cross fan
All went well till the eve of the gathering, whereupon the waters of the river Ohio, half a world away, began to rise and the Worlds organisers were forced to make an eleventh hour decision to hold all four main races on the Saturday. That, ironically, left our Yorkshire friends high and dry, without any live races to watch!
However, ‘cross riders are nothing if not resourceful in the face of adversity and the Sunday evening event went ahead anyway. A helping hand from over the border in Lancashire - Allan Dorrington of “realcrossjunkie” fame - recorded the previous day’s races and a DVD was rushed over the Pennines in time for the party to begin.
And so, some 40 fans gathered to watch the women’s race. Pie and Peas were served at the mid-point of the evening, then it was then time for everyone all to sit down and cheer on the elite men, including GB’s Ian Field. Ian’s equally cross-obsessed partner, Annie Simpson, was on hand to lead the cheering and wore her supporter’s flag with Pride!
With heady mixture of end of term atmosphere, the odd glass of beer and the general frivolity of the assembled fans, the night flashed by, with Matt Denby’s raffle draw and some quality dancing to round things off! Bring on next year!