Round 6 of the London X League took place at HHV on Sunday. For those who never venture off the tarmac, there is a magical world of muddy trails beyond the track with a lot of cool features packed into a compact space. CX races also use the grass in the track centre, which is why there is currently a pattern of muddy brown swirls visible from space.
This event was notable for being this first time in this league that there was a completely separate women's race - and it showed just how much demand there is for this approach. Over 50 women, many of them brand new to cross, raced and the buzz at the end was amazing. Next opportunity for this is in Brighton on 27th Oct and the intention is that it will be the norm for all League races next season. As someone who is normally racing at the same time as the women it was great to watch the race unfold from the outside. A strong, tight group of four emerged at the front and then gradually got chipped away leaving Caroline to beat former national hill-climb champion Maryka Sennema in the final sprint for the line. Olivia, riding for Scarpa, was 6th overall and 2nd in her Senior category. Photos here for anyone needing inspiration.
I counted 27 DP riders across all male/female races - many not often seem with knobbly tyres on. We had a record of 7 old men in the V50/60 race. Notable results were James Malone - 7th in V40 and Stan Nutter - 10th in Seniors despite destroying a tree, losing a shoe and needing a wheel change. But the spirit of CX was embodied by Berenger Fric who built a bike the week before, did one club training session on the Wednesday and his first race on Sunday.