A Vicious Introduction To Cross

Firstly apologies for the seemingly baron virtual space that is bianchista, I concede the updates have been thoroughly lacking these days, and can only offer the excuse that life seems to have ramped up to around 200% on the busyness scale, well that and im actually riding my bike/attending bike type things!
So without further ado, let me launch into today's blogpost which will be a hearty congratulations to all the Vicious Velo crew for organising such a fantastic day of gnarly cross racing down at Herne Hill Velodrome. I had my first practical introduction a few weeks ago to the muddy & intense world of cross via the lovely Konrad Manning (more on my virgin knobby-tyred outing to come this week on the blog), but was yet to head down and actually watch a race... I mean, sure, iv streamed my fair share of begian uber-cross fests when the office is quiet, and im pretty au-fait with the riders and courses on the world cup (thanks in no part to an excellent cyclocross photobook by balint hamvas, in which you can read a review this week), but a rare Sunday off work meant a perfect opportunity to taste all things vicious at Herne Hill.
Boom was in residence on the airwaves, utilising the 'Megamouth' for epic heckles and commentary, the like of which may be shunned by the cycling establishment as it was literally 200% HILAR. Goading riders into grabbing curly wurlys and passing seat height judgements were amongst the best. Respect! 
Ben did a fab job designing the course, with crazy turns, a pretty gnarly looking wallride (I think I saw 3 people attempt it, of which two crashed and burned!). The technical sandpits became real leg-crampers towards the end of the race, and the section outside of the velodrome proved tight and pretty unforgiving.
Massive congrats to all who raced today, I was so impressed by the amount and variety of riders out on what was honestly a brutally cold day. You have so much respect in bianchistas book, I feel shattered after just turning up and shooting a few pics.
I managed to fire off pretty much a frame or two of every rider, but as you can imagine its a pretty mammoth job to get them all edited and uploaded. But keep an eye on my flickr towards the end of the week and il be adding them all into the Vicious Cross set.
Nice to meet Geoff too, who kept everyone going through the corners with his awesome drum skills, got to hand it to a man that's willing to come out and play a session (gloveless) on a freezing December morning! Anyway, if you missed it, there's always next year, this is Ben's annual event, and it really is such a wicked atmosphere. I implore you to dig your wellies out, grab a camera, maybe a flask of tea and head down to your local cross race. It needs everyones support, and I don't mean financially, just get down and cheers a few of the guys on, I know they will appreciate it...

4 comments:

CJ Boom said...

Thanks for coming down to the race Gem, and thanks for capturing some really great images of the action.
Phew! What a long day.
Right now planning for next year.
More Curly Wurly's?

Bianchista said...

what a top (but bloody freezing) day! Got sooo many pictures to go through and put up this week - everyone looks muddy & gnarly! Well done to all the vicious crew for a proper good days racing! Looking forward to the 2012 installment

Balint said...

Great pictures, must have been fun! I'm really tempted now to cover the National Champs in Jan...

Dan Bennett said...

Really nice pics...

Dan Bennett
progressive cycle coaching

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