From the Pits at the Cyclocross Nationals

By Scott Emmens

A fabulous weekend of authentic CX conditions were provided at Moonshine Park in Upper Hutt. The snow covering Mt Climie ridge was a fantastic backdrop to a course that was tight, muddy and unrelenting. This took its toll on both lungs and machines, with numerous rear deraillieurs paying the ultimate price.

This year’s race saw a new level of 'professionalism' in New Zealand cyclocross with bike swaps and pressure washers in the pits. Those who had access to these additional resources definitely reaped the benefits, whilst those of us who didn’t have spare bikes were often left at a complete standstill as we plucked globs of grass filled mud from our bottom brackets with frozen fingers or carried our broken bikes and dreams back to the start. There was no chance of bunny-hopping the barriers with the ground literally sucking you in. Even lifting bikes over the barriers got more and more difficult with each additional lap and the additional weight of the mud.

The new found professionalism seen in the pits stopped there, as the quality of the beer being handed up to willing participants was, shall we say, marginal, although very welcome and refreshing.

All in all a fantastic day celebrating the most minor of minor bike sports - which seems to appeal to the slightly odd, like me!

Anja McDonald dominating the women's elite field.
Photo: Digby Shaw

GE rider, Tristan Rawlence, back from injury and a very credible forth.
Photo: Digby Shaw