I was following teamie Alan ‘Crossjunkie’ Dorrington for not just the race but, as usual the run up and indeed shared training with him until my particular race entry was put on ice. He reflects here with a slightly heavy heart on how a basic thing like a feeding oversight led to cramp and further problems.

It’s a hard thing, this race. Not just for obvious reasons, but because it’s annual. We put a lot at stake for it, so when it comes back to bite us, it hurts double. I think Alan put a good solid ride in, but yes, have been there too, when a few errors start to make the day not quite what it may have been.

[My thighs] locked solid and that was that. Cue the following rigmarole: sit down, look at the view for a bit, swear blind you were never coming back to do this bloody race, snivel a bit, try and stand up, fall over again, curse. Eventually they unlocked enough to affect a half-hearted shuffle and upward progress resumed. But my impetus had been lost and it was hard to pick up the pace, waiting for that ‘laugh-in-your-face’ twinge that signalled a return to a seated position.