#bikeschool: Rapha Super Cross

As the nights draw in and winter nears in the northern hemisphere it’s time to put away #1 and tuck her in until spring. For some this means getting out the winter bike and when the weather permits, for others it means releasing their inner crazy and race Cross! This weekend saw the third and final round of the Rapha Super Cross Series held in the UK aimed at bringing a little Jeremy Powers-esque funk to the back beat of bike racing.

Mini Cross

The inaugural Rapha Super Cross series described itself as bringing, “three days of super-charged cyclocross racing to venues around the UK. Experience the roar of the crowd, the clang of the cowbell and a large streak of silliness. Inspired by the speed and atmosphere of the US cross scene, spectators can enjoy racing of all abilities; from the best in the land to absolute beginners.

Race face!

And from what I saw at round 3 on Sunday in Alexandra Palace, London it certainly achieved it’s aim. Since finding (and getting hooked on) the ‘Behind The Barriers‘ series of web videos charting the success of the Rapha Cross team and specifically Jeremy Powers I’ve become more inclined to watch and maybe someday even compete in cyclo cross. Don’t get me wrong… I love watching the craze Europeans run themselves into the ground through mud, snow and worse… but I see cyclo cross as a discipline that can really appeal to the masses, especially to families. Kind of like Twenty20 in cricket… yeah you might need to go and look that up! Anyway, the racing started with an under 10′s race and then some slightly more feisty under 12′s. At first glance this seemed a bit of a slow paced way to start an action packed day but it turned out to be some of the most fun racing. These were children who were showed no pain and lots of suffering and they were having lots of fun doing it. There were a few tears when the inevitable spills happened but a kids do, the majority just dusted themselves down and got on with it! We screamed more encouragement for the little ones than we did at the adults later in the day and kids probably didn’t know why! They were just riding around the circuit until mummy or daddy told them to stop (and it was genuinely difficult for an under 12 never mind someone under 10!)

Grass Pains

After the little nippers had finished it was then on the more serious racing. The Junior/Senior/Women/Vets race saw 4

Richard on the main climb to the Palace

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