The Big Race | Emma’s First Cyclo-Cross Ep. 5

The Big Race | Emma’s First Cyclo-Cross Ep. 5


(techno music) (grunts) – Yeah, that was kinda closer than, (laughs) closer to nature
than I wanted to get. (dramatic music) – [Emma] I have really
enjoyed getting into cycling off road through cyclocross. I’ve been very lucky to
have both a super nice bike and a super awesome coach
in the form of my colleague, Simon Richardson. But the grand finale of my
beginner cyclocross guide was always supposed to be a race. Now, I’ve been putting it off long enough. And that’s how I found
myself on the edge of a muddy field outside Keynsham on a
Sunday morning in December, psyching myself up to race the South Regional Cyclocross Championships. Which actually sounds like
quite a big deal to me as a beginner cyclocrosser. Now, everyone’s told me
that cyclocross races start really really fast and that I should warm
up on a turbo trainer. But, basically, I’ve refused, because years of
time-trialing have left me with, well, basically, a bit
of an anxiety about warming up on turbo trainers. Just the thought of it makes
me quite agitated and nervous, so I’ve decided that I would
rather just take my chances with a first start, and
I’ll just warm up around the car park or something. One thing though, that I have
taken everyone’s advice on is do a practice lap,
because, well, I’ll be honest, haven’t been practicing my
skills as much as I should so I think it’s probably
worth trying to ride the lap before the race to see if
I can even get round it. Not too sure what to do
if I can’t get around it. Yeah, I haven’t really got a plan B. So here we go, I’m gonna go
and try out a practice lap. And see if my gears work. (upbeat music) It’s alright, my bad. Well, we had half an hour
to practice and I thought I’d get a few laps in, I managed one. At this rate, I’m not sure
if I’m going to do more than one lap in the race. What am I doing here? Luckily, we have Katherine
here flying the flag for GCM. She has skill and excellence
off road, unlike me. (laughs) Thank goodness. Unfortunately, she’s not
technically racing for GCM, she’s racing for a first
game club but we know that you’re GCM at heart. – GCM at heart of course, yeah. – Good luck Katherine. – You’re gonna smash it. – Show me how it’s done. – All you have to is sprint
off the start and then time trial it, basically what
you’re used to anyways so you’ll be fine. – I can’t do either of those things. (laughs) Definitely not in mud, either of them. – There’s a lot of mud. (upbeat music) – Right well after the
practice lap, numbers, I’m honestly not really
sure if I should be here because I feel totally out of my depths, literally in mud, it’s
almost up to my knees. I’m kind of wondering whether
I might just sneak off and just do a coffee ride. I don’t think anyone is
gonna notice, I don’t think anyone thought I was
coming because of the hip. Whose gonna know? I’m just gonna get coffee. – Emma! Yes, I heard you. – Uhh. – Good luck, I brought
you a spare set of wheels. – Thanks Si. – That’s alright, no
worries, how you doing? – A bit nervous. – Yeah? Good stuff. Fantastic. Well not good being nervous
but you know, pre race. You need a bit for the start line. – Yeah, it’s really muddy. Like its a lot muddier than
in any of our practices. – You’ll be fine. It’s the same for everyone out there. I’ve also brought your cheer squad. – Heyyy. Albie, how you doin? (blows raspberries) That’s how I feel too. – We’ll do a better cheering I promise. Okay, come on indeed. What do we say? Go Emma! Can you say that? (laughs) (shivers) – Cold already. I’ve been concerned about
crashing, given how much it doesn’t hurt. It’s only mud. – Once your crash once, it’s fine. She said, “Once you crash once, its fine”. Can’t get the pedal in the right place. (upbeat music) Apparently you’re supposed to
put your chip under you sock. – Lydia Gold- – Feels like a school nipolton (chuckles) I was always the last one to get- – Emma Pooley. (claps) Charlotte Fisher. (upbeat music) (whistle blows) (crowd cheers) (bell rings) – Go! Go! Go! Go! – [Emma] The people who advise
me to warm up and start fast were right, sadly, I
failed to take that advice. I started at the back too
slowly and was stuck there. Truth be told, I never even
saw the front of this race. – She made a steady start. I think that’s a wise move. Play it cool at the start
and pick everyone off. – [Emma] Nonetheless it was fun
getting stuck in, literally. I was pretty delighted that
there were sections I could ride at all, like the rollers which
I managed every single lap and on the banks, well, there
I took Si’s very good advice and ran them every time and
that was definitely a good call. It’s actually the bit I’m best
at which involves running. (upbeat music) – [Emma] After the first
few laps, I did find myself catching a few riders who
had perhaps started a little too fast. – You alright? – [Emma] My frustration
was that although I could power through the straights
and make up distance, as soon as we got to a
muddy corner, I lost so much ground. Truth be told, I really have
not mastered the feeling of sliding round corners, the
center of the spiral of doom was probably the muddiest
and most frustrating point. – Tell you what, Emma
is absolutely smashing. It’s brilliant. I thought she might, but
she’s properly moving through the field now. Some of the technical elements maybe, like the jumping on and off, she still hasn’t quite totally
nailed them every time but, it’s absolutely brilliant. She’s flying, it’s great. – [Emma] Even worse than
sliding, I simply was not capable of the running remount
and here I confess it was just down to lack of practice. I lost so much time, stepping
back onto the bike that it was better often just
to run a bit further. I even had to run most
of the decent, which is a bit embarrassing really. Most of all, this race
reinforced to me just how awesomely impressive cross riders are. Their skill levels are just
fantastic, unlike mine. I did it last time. – Well done, great job! (bells rings) – [Emma] Even at the back of
the race though, it was such a great atmosphere. The organizers of Shamxross
did a brilliant job building a fun and very
challenging course and the spectators were so
generous in their cheering. – Come on Emma! Go on Emma, GO GO GO! – [Emma] The winner finished
6 minutes and 52 seconds ahead of me. Trailing in far behind in 14th place. That was interesting. – Well done Emma. Put it there. – So how did you find that Emma? – It was really fun. I’m almost out of breath
because I was struggling so much on the corners, its
so slippery, I just can’t get the hang of sliding around corners. I’m just too chicken. – I guess coming of from your
background is a completely different sensation that
what you’re used to. – Yeah and I should have
practiced more, I definitely should’ve practiced more,
but I was actually quick at running quite a lot of
it, definitely the banks and I didn’t crash once
which mean I probably wasn’t pushing it to the limit. – That’s quite something
for your first crossrace. – Yeah, it means I wasn’t
trying hard enough probably. – But now I feel like I
need a cup of hot tea. – And a porridge bun. – Amazing. – Right, let’s go get some tea. Well um, I have to say, I
don’t think that was my finest race as I’ll ever- but the
whole point of cyclocross was to try something new and
have a bit of fun and learn some new skills and I think
I’ve certainly done that and I have to say that if someone
like me can- after years of pro racing can go to a
new discipline in cycling and start right from the bottom
and get totally embarrassed and yet be welcomed with friendliness
and warmth and just have a load of fun at a race then
I think anyone can do it. So, give cyclocross a try
because it is awesome. Apart from cleaning your
bike which sucks basically. – [Emma] If you enjoyed this,
please share it with your friends and to see how I got
here, check out the earlier videos in this beginner cyclocross series. (upbeat music)