First of all, a big thank you to everyone that turned up, raced, volunteered and supported the race on a cold, wet February day. The conditions weren't ideal but made everyone's efforts so much more epic. Well done to everyone! Also, a big thanks to John at The Crafty Horse Bar and Jonathan in the Melt Van for keeping people hydrated and toastie all day.
Secondly, I'd like to apologise for some admin errors that meant that we declared some positions on the podium wrong on the day. After trying out a new and more accurate scoring system than we used last year (so we could position everyone in the race) we rushed through the count up a bit to make sure everyone wasn't hanging around in the cold too long and we miscalculated a couple of places in the Main Race.
The official results are below and are now definitive after being checked over several times in the last couple of days. A full album of photos taken by Jess can be found and shared on our Facebook page, feel free to tag you or your friends in the images and please credit Jess/NLTCBMBC when reusing the images.
After setting up the course and getting everyone signed on we started the day with the Open Race. Designed to let people race whatever bike they deem (in)appropriate to race over a cyclocross course, we had a host of different types of bike racing with MTB, track bikes and folding bikes being some of the weapons of choice.
The safety briefing was completed, the countdown begun and the gun fired early (thanks John!) to get the race started. From the first climb a couple of MTB riders broke into the lead followed by a couple of brave (some brakeless) track bike riders. Then Will Fox, who seemed to have forgotten his kit, but at least he remembered his helmet.
Another interesting bike on course was a Tall Bike made by Petor from Dear Susan Bicycles. He was head and shoulders and knees and toes above the rest of the field.
As the time and the laps ticked over some of the less race orientated bikes started to struggle with the conditions and the pace at the front. Max Geddes (ELF) and Gabor Doroghazi (Fruit 4 London) leading the way on their MTBs. They were closely followed by James Corbett and Mitch Ward on their track bikes though, with the latter opting for a brakeless setup and showing some great handling skills to keep up with the pace.
As we got to the final lap, Max was still leading Gabor around the course, but you could tell that Gabor was looking to pounce at the last minute. Could Max hold him off on the last lap? No. Gabor took advantage on the last part of the lap and overtook Max just before the finish line. James Corlett came in in third place, closely followed by Mitch Ward (top Brakeless).
Will Fox took home the "Less Dressed" prize (formerly the Best Dressed prize) for his efforts, or lack thereof. Petor Georgallou was the fastest/only Tall Bike and Valentino Pala was the top placed folding bike.
The rain started to get heavier and colder just as the Main Race was about to get underway, but this is what CX is about. Challenging courses and tough conditions. The soft ground was getting softer every minute, so we got everyone to the start line at the foot of the gravel climb.
40 men and 8 women lined up and stripped off the jackets at the last moment, trying to keep their body temperature up as I counted down the start. It was a staggered start with the men setting off 2 minutes before the women to keep the races separated for a while. The gun was fired and the men rushed up the climb towards the shipping container tunnels before entering the main course at the back end of the lap. The women lined up at the foot of the starting climb and after a short wait they were also off up the hill and underway.
Jon Dennis (Kibosh Racing) was the first man across the line to complete a lap, closely followed by Dimitri Demishev (NLTCBMBC) for the first lap prime. Some more of the men's field passed the finish line before Louise Heywood-Mahé (Les Filles RT) took the women's first lap prime. Louise, and a few of the other women had already passed some of the back markers from the men's race despite an enforced 2 minute deficit. We had some seriously strong riders out on course.
As the race continued Jon, along with Adam Parkes (RMNC CC) and Sam Andrews (Das Rad Klub) kept the pace high and started lapping the back end of the field. At the halfway point of the race we only had 11 or 12 men on the lead lap and 9 of those would end up a lap down to the three leaders by the end of the race. Trying to keep on the same lap as Jon Dennis can either inspire you to work harder or deflate your confidence as he eases past. It's a sight to behold as he powers over all obstacles in front of him.
In the women's race Louise Heywood-Mahé was proving just as dominant as she finished a lap clear of any of her competitors. Charlotte Heywood-Mahé (Les Filles RT) and Olivia Campbell (Scarpa Racing) were battling for the next two podium places with Eeva Sarlin (Velociposse) and Katherine Moore (Das Rad Klub) another lap back in fourth and fifth.
There were a mix of expressions on peoples faces as I announced the last lap to everyone crossing the line. From the "Thank god this is almost over!" grimace to the "What?! There's still another lap to go?" stare into the abyss. Each rider had battled freezing and wet conditions and the ground was looking very chewed up around the course. It really was a battle of attrition and everyone had fought hard to complete the race.
Jon took the chequered flag by a comfortable distance, before Adam Parkes came in second and Sam Andrews took third on the lead lap. Louise came in a lap ahead of Charlotte and Olivia, which meant a repeat of the winners from ThunderCross 1 last year.
After everyone had crossed the line and the course was cleared we took people to the bottom of the large hill behind the car park and ran the Hell Climb competition as we totted up the scores for the podium presentations (more on this later). We organised a small group of riders who were up for a little more pain so soon after finishing the race and set them off.
The Hell Climb had to be relocated from our original location on the motocross track as the rain had made it impossible to walk on, let alone ride a bike up. the new location wasn't a long climb but it gets quite steep after the halfway point and the legs were still burning from nearly an hour of racing in the mud. William Hibberd (Das Rad Klub) and Charlotte Heywood-Mahé (Les Filles RT) took the honours at the top of the hill.
Then it was time for the podium presentations. I just want to apologise for any confusion. We really didn't want people to be hanging around too long in the cold waiting and we tried totalling the numbers up as quickly as possible. We appeared to have missed counting a lap for Adam Parkes, Sam Andrews and also Olivia Campbell which meant we presented 3 prizes to the wrong people. I was approached straight after the presentations and I hope that we can be forgiven for this cock up and we can put it right. The most frustrating thing is obviously having that podium moment taken away and I'm sorry to the guys who missed out on that. I'll be in touch with each person via email to make sure I can resolve any issues this may have caused.
We'd also like to thanks all our sponsors for helping us make this race happen and supplying some great prizes for the winners.
Open Race (Prizes from Hiplok, Muc Off, Selle San Marco and Standert)
1 Gabor Doroghazi - Fruit 4 London (7 laps)
2 Max Geddes - ELF (7 laps)
3 James Corlett - Dulwich (7 laps)
4 Mitch Ward - Fixed Beers (7 laps)
5 Will Fox - Team Sky (7 laps)
6 Edward Hill - Fixed Beers (7 laps)
7 George Chamberlain - Kim Jong Il Pike Polo Memorial (6 laps)
8 Petor Georgallou - Bike Kuntz (6 laps)
9 Tom Robinson - London Velo (6 laps)
10 Valentino Pala (5 laps)
11 Amy O’Hara - DRV (5 laps)
12 Paul Boyce - Dear Susan (4 laps)
13 Graham Parks (4 laps)
14 Tim Mountford - Bike Kuntz (4 laps)
15 Leonardo Santangelo - Veloshrimp (2 laps)
First Woman Amy O'Hara
First Brakeless Mitch Ward
First Tall Bike Petor Georgallou
First Folding Valentino Pala
Men's Main Race (Prizes from Bell, Altura, Muc Off, Selle San Marco and Ass Savers)
1 Jon Dennis - Kibosh Racing (12 laps)
2 Adam Parkes - RMNC (12 laps)
3 Sam Andrews - Das Rad Klub (12 laps)
4 David Rees - Dulwich Paragon (11 laps)
5 Andy Watson-Smith - Pretorius (11 laps)
6 William Hibberd - Das Rad Klub (11 laps)
7 Alex Windett - DPCXCC (11 laps)
8 Ben Cavers - Rad Bikes (11 laps)
9 Peter Hair - KWCC (11 laps)
10 Jesse Baines (11 laps)
11 Dimitri Demishev - NLTCBMBC (11 laps)
12 Jo Burt - Morvelo (10 laps)
13 Nathan Dutor - RMNC (10 laps)
14 Thomas Donhou - Kibosh/Donhou (10 laps)
15 Joseph Delves (10 laps)
16 Charlie Codring - Dulwich Paragon (10 laps)
17 James Cuff - Das Rad Klub (10 laps)
18 Andy Powers - CS Grupetto (10 laps)
19 Jonathan Calver - Dawn Raid Velo (10 laps)
20 François Toullec - UC Quimperloise (10 laps)
21 Edwin Ward - Polhill (10 laps)
22 Chaz Kimble - Nvayrk (10 laps)
23 Martin Baisch - 700 CC (9 laps)
24 Federico Motta - Nvayrk (9 laps)
25 Tim Peters - Horshaw (9 laps)
26 Oli Wright - LFGSSCC (9 laps)
27 Michael Lane - NLTCBMBC (9 laps)
28 Simon Clawson - Dulwich Paragon (9 laps)
29 Graeme Lannigan - 700 CC (9 laps)
30 Erkki Hedenborg (9 laps)
31 Martin Alexander (8 laps)
32 Unknown Rider (8 laps)
33 Elliot White (8 laps)
34 Paul Roast (8 laps)
35 Russ Jones - Hackney GT (8 laps)
36 Benson Styles (8 laps)
37 Simon Edwards-Parton - Cotswold Velo (6 laps)
38 Henry Summers - NLTCBMBC (4 laps)
39 Ruben Ruiter (3 laps)
40 Lewis Lyons-Sibley (2 laps)
Women's Main Race (Prizes from Bell, Altura, Muc Off, Selle San Marco and Ass Savers)
1 Louise Heywood-Mahé - Les Filles (10 laps)
2 Charlotte Heywood-Mahé - Les Filles (9 laps)
3 Olivia Campbell - Scarpa Racing (9 laps)
4 Eeva Sarlin - Velociposse (8 laps)
5 Katherine Moore - Das Rad Klub (8 laps)
6 Vröni Buettner - Fixed Beers (7 laps)
7 Catherine Charett (5 laps)
8 Millie Citton - VCL (4 laps)
Prime Winners (Prizes from Hiplok)
Jon Dennis - Kibosh Racing
Louise Heywood-Mahé - Les Filles
Hell Climb (Prizes from Muc Off)
William Hibberd - Das Rad Klub
Charlotte Heywood-Mahé - Les Filles