The 2012/13 cyclocross season draws to a close after 5 months of riding, racing and training, and 28 hard fought races. It’s my second full season of cyclocross and it’s been a very different experience to Year One. This season was proper ‘cross.

Mud, mud and more glorious mud – broken bikes, burning legs and bright white smiles beaming out of filthy faces. The kind of mud where you have to work hard to go downhill and where the only line is the one that’s been carved out by the wheels of the rider in front.

It is tough on the rider and tougher on the bike, but we made it through relatively unscathed. Cyclocross has taught me to take very good care of my kit.

The high point of the season (apart from picking up my brand new Major Jake from Chamberlaines Cycles, obviously!) was my recent weekend double, especially satisfying considering the snowy conditions. The low point was not especially low – it’s been a good season – but I would like to have performed better at the Rapha Super Cross events, where I was a guest rider for the Cycle Premier professional racing team. It’s the mantra of the under-performing cyclist, but I had been feeling ill for a week prior to the first race, and I knew it was going to be a struggle to lift my riding up a notch, feeling as I did…

Generally though, it’s been a pretty smooth ride. Good health, two good bikes and a good team enabled me to win the Central Cyclocross League for 2012/13 and sees me ranked 6th in the UK for the season.

I’ll be glad to have my Sundays back for a few weeks and I feel like I need a break (I’m writing this in a hotel room in Tenerife!), but my first mountain bike race of the year is coming up and I’m sure it won’t feel like much time has passed before I start gluing tubs and tuning gears ready for 2013/14.

Thanks for reading.

My Stats for 2012/13:

28 races
8 wins
19 podiums
Central Cyclocross League Champion
UK Ranking: 6th

Photo credit Simon Parker