You want to go to China and race CX? err sure ok! This was a few months before National Champs, we’d done a handful of races so the ‘err’ was a bit like a ‘err really?
Before we knew it the Aussie season was wrapped up and we were off to race CX in China, our very first experience of UCI Cat 1 CX racing, as part of the JBlood Adventures team. Race One was held at about 2 hours from Beijing in Yangqing, and Race Two about 15km from the heart of Bejing in Fengtai Changxindian.Pre-race activities didn’t exactly involve resting the pegs, with most the field taking the opportunity to go activate the glutes by trekking up the Great Wall!
We had a great group of Aussies with the JBlood team as well as the Flanders team racing. The race had attracted riders from all over the world, Americas, Dutch, Swiss, Belgies, Canadians, Italians, to name a few, with a good opportunity to kick off the international season and grab some early UCI points.
Having not raced in China before we were a little unsure of what to expect. But its fair to say we were very well looked after. The organizers from all reports are making the event better each year, aiming to make the second race a world cup. Commutating to and from the race by bike, was quite the adventure its self. Sometimes very entertaining, especially the time 6’4ft ( or there abouts …tall ) Howie busted his front wheel in half after dropping it in a drain grate, then having to ride back to the hotel on Jo’s XXS MTB …. how’d Jo get back? ….. Chris dinked her on his Cross bike of course …oh and Howies bike? ….. Shaun pushed that back whilst riding his own.
As far as the racing went it was the first race Bec would proudly line up in her new Green and gold Strip which was exciting ( A big Thanks must go to Cuore for getting this rushed through and sent right to the hotel in China ).
Its fair to say it wasn’t what we envisaged for our first International cross race, especially when it came to the weather, pretty sure if you asked us about racing international Cross a year ago all we would have thought of was mud mud rain sand more mud. Well not in china it was dusty, dry, and hot, very hot for us coming from winter.
Race one was more suited to Bec with long straights and false flats, and race two more suited to Ren being a very tight and twisty with punchy little climbs, although very loose and dusty. The starts were very fast both races, Ren got great starts for both, Bec got caught up in race one but soon started making her way to the top end of the field. Unfortunately she suffered a flat, mid-race and lost the gains and had to do it all again once she got a change. She still came home strong. Race two saw pretty much the same names up front with the results switching around a bit. Ren coming home in four just missing the podium, and Bec in 6th. The heat definitely hurt us a bit through both races. Rens Tassie blood turning red and having her looking like a Tomato. Overall we were pretty pleased with our results, would have been nice to get a podium but it’s also nice to know we were close with some classy riders in the race. We actually went in a bit blind as far as knowing our competition, this just a sign of how new we are to the sport. As it turns out it was probably better, sometimes it’s easy to talk yourself out of a race by knowing who your competition is. In the Men’s race Chris had two stomping rides making the Aussies very proud and putting himself on the podium for both races.
RESULTS RACE One Yangqing – Men 1.Rob Peeters (Crelan-Vastgoedservice, BEL) 2.Jens Adams (Crelan-Vastgoedservice, BEL) 3.Chris Jongewaard (Flanders-Nemisis/JBlood Adventures, AUS) Women 1.Emily Kachorek (Squid Bikes, USA) 2.Ceylin Alvarado (Kluer Op Maat, NED) 3.Bianca Van den Hoek (Rijwielpaleis Bilthoven, NED) 5.Naomi Williams (Team WillyLocke, AUS) 10.Rebecca Locke (Team WillyLocke, AUS) RESULTS RACE Two Fengtai Changxindian - Men 1.Marcel Wildhaber (SUI) 2.Chris Jongewaard (Flanders-Nemisis/JBlood Adventures, AUS) 3.Jens Adams (Crelan-Vastgoedservice, BEL) Women 1.Ceylin Alvarado (Kluer Op Maat, NED 2.Emily Kachorek (Squid Bikes, USA) 3.Bianca Van den Hoek (Rijwielpaleis Bilthoven, 4.Naomi Williams (Team WillyLocke, AUS) 6.Rebecca Locke (Team WillyLocke, AUS)
For more take a look at the race wraps from Australian Cx mag who were there
So that’s a wrap for our first stint in our Cyclocross experiment, As always we must thanks all our supporters for their support without it we couldn’t do what we do. Also to JBlood adventures for having us on the team in China. We must also send a shout out to our legend mate Pete who gave up his own time to come and help us out as our mechanic, thanks Pete we owe you many beers. We have had a super fun exciting and successful last 6month and are looking forward to the next chapter of the experiment ….. stay tuned …..