After a few weeks of drinking some beers, visting some bike exhibitions and working hard to hit some sales targets, Dan Wells is back on his bike and will ride some cx races this winter. Below you can read how it went the last couple of weeks!.
October 20th – Rapha Supercross Senior Race – Philips Park National cycling Centre – Manchester
As the first race back after a successful 2013 MTB season and pretty much no training for 8 weeks but lots of beers with customers, I knew this was going to be very painful. The promise of a beer tent and Tequila short cuts tempted me out of the comfort of my house. Sadly all the fun was scheduled for the novice race and the Seniors was a short but intense 40minutes of pure Cross.
A bad start had me in the top 20 but some MTB skills on the tight corners got me into the top 10 within half a lap. The familiar lactic burn soon kicked in though. I crawled up to 5th at one point but the leader Rob Partridge (UK Youth Road team) was out of sight now. It just got more and more painful and I slowed a lot near the end to collapse over the line in 7th place....A very big shock to the system! But my first top 10 ever in CX and my Cross race disc bike was brilliant...Roll on next week.
October 26th – North West CX League Race 6 – Otterspool Park, Liverpool
After last week I was a little more prepared for the effort and remembered to bring my favourite race socks and the right base layer as well as an Energy Gel! Actually last week I prepared like a school boy – Not good (don’t tell the manager).
Otterspool is a firm favourite with the riders and my first ever race win was here 15years ago...I Like this venue by the River. Classic CX with a touch of MTB with roots and singletrack in the woods (and for me not too much climbing, I hate it).
After a week of solid rain...we arrived at the venue to see that the wind had dried the course out and there was no mud at all...Amazing!
Senior race started at 2pm and for the first time ever the leaders went the wrong way so we had a restart...for me this was great news as I had trouble getting into my pedals...I looked at my shoes and saw my cleat was very loose...Dammit Game over as the restart was in the next 30seconds. I asked quickly for an tool set and got told there was one in the pits.
Everyone started and I shot straight to the pits to find the tool and fix my shoe..I lost 90seconds straight away and set off Dead last. With an energy gel kicking in I set of at a rapid pace and started to feel really good, riding the course at its limit and catching people quicker than expected...This is the best I had ever felt at a CX race...After 50 minutes I had clawed my way back to the top 15 with 1 lap to go...Half a lap left I was 14th and I managed to outsprint 1 more person to finish 13th on the pace with the leaders.... I was excited for next week now, with the confidence I had the speed to be in the top 5.
November 3rd - North West CX League Race 7 – Boggart Hole – Manchester
Rain and more Rain...this was real CX now....
This is usually the start of the muddy races and it did not disappoint a 10minute lap with lots of mud and some great off camber single track sections. Actually I really enjoyed the course and a lot was ride able, but some sections better to run.
My start was good this week and I was in the top 10 straight away...we left the concrete start straight and into the grass...I was now in the top 3 and feeling ok, but could tell the lack of training meant this would not last long..
I was soon over taken by a few riders and then a few more. I tucked in behind them knowing I could take them back as soon as it got technical. We hit the woods at the bottom end of the course and I started to make the places back...On the last long muddy section I took it full gas and over took Giles Drake the series leader (and eventual race winner). It didn’t last long as we hit the steep tarmac climb he just rode away from me very easily...I hung onto 2nd place for 1 lap and then got taken to 3rd by Scott Wilson by some classy riding up the muddy banks...3rd place was good for me although I had to fight for it on the 2nd to last lap with Matt Lawton who is from my town also. With 1 lap to go and my first ever podium in CX I flatted entering the finish straight..I had to run to the pits and get a new wheel, which had a summer slick on it....the last lap was wild and most of it holding onto the bike with fear on the down hills...I got passed once and finished 5th. Still my best ever CX result.
I’m now looking forward to an easier week to do some training and on the 9th we are back to Otterspool for round 8 and the 10th is the Inter region Championships and I have been asked to be on the North West team which I’m super pleased about.
As you can see, less training doesn't affect his bike skills. His basic condition is also ok, so he's still able to fight in front without suffering ;) Curious to see what the results will be after a few weeks hard training ;)