Sunday I again woke up at 5.45 and this time went off to Southampton. Hardly the centre for cross and I was that impressed with the course. But considering 24 hours before I'd stood with thousands of freezing fans surrounded by some serious sandy bergs of a cross course. Anything the UK had to offer was going to pale in comparison.
The ground was frozen when I walked the course through with Andy. Between the Vets and my race the ground had unfrozen and I needed alittle bit less pressure to cope with the slippy corners. I chose to run Challenge Griffo's rather than Dugast Rhino's. There wasn't much mud and the ground was still hard. I decided an extra 1mm of height found on the knobble of a Dugast would be a drag and on what was looking like it was going to be a fast race opted for a Griffo as I wa sure of the grip it could offer.
A Good start put me into 3rd making the first turn. Pressure onto the crank to accelerate and bang, the bike shifted into the little ring and the shock of the change also yanked my foot out. The momentary lapse meant 4 riders screamed past me going into the wooded section. I regained my composure by the time we'd got back to the grass and from here I worked away. Focusing on keeping the tempo high. Focusing on accelerating on the flats and climbs.
By the end of the race I had secured 5th place. I'm extremely pleased and my best result yet. Griffo's were perfect, no little sit downs.
I was 40 seconds off 4th place which I need to work on. I think that is too big. I need to work on my pro Belgium style too. I needed leg warmers, thats not cool.
A highlight of Sunday was being selected for drug control and sat for 2 hours, drinking a total of 2 litres of water. I wore four coats and two wolly hats shivering trying to warm up. It was a horrible feeling. Until I was sorted and I couldn't leave and I couldn't eat.
I think that contributed to the disgusting stinking cold I'm struggling with today.