Many thanks to Leanne Thompson of the Lune RC for this report:
It’s hard not to get obsessive about the 3 peaks cyclo-cross when you’re in the same room as Phil Haygarth, so as he is staying in our house (myself and Trev Page) for a few days during weekdays at the moment ,most talk has been and still is about the 3 peaks! Anyway, given all the hype it was a bit of a disappointing day for myself and especially for my partner Trev (see his account for details). His incident had me running around like headless chicken trying to get medical help a few minutes before the start, but at least I started on time!
My plan was a slow start and then hopefully a strong finish. This was really motivated by the terrible cramp I experienced in 2006 which started on Whernside. I must have gone too fast too early and spent a lot of time in contorted positions for the rest of the race! Anyway, I was starting to regret going slowly once the enormous queue for the stile on Simon Fell came into view. I hope there can be some way around this next year. I got to the top feeling quite upbeat but then as soon as the descending began I punctured. Martyn Smith and Dave Gorst from Lancaster CC both kindly stopped to offer me help, but I urged them on as I had my new CO2 canister and I anticipated a swift change. Then I couldn’t get the damn thing to work (I’m not the best mechanic!) just as Trev popped over the horizon to save me! He quickly got me up and running and we rode down to Ingleton together before he left me on the next climb.
I’ve done the 3 peaks twice before and never had any problems with impact punctures. Having had one I didn’t think I’d be unlucky enough to get another but it just wasn’t my day and I punctured again at the top of Whernside. Having no tube the second time and this time managing to lose some air out of my last CO2 canister before it was attached to the tube didn’t help matters, so I limped down Whernside on a very soft tyre hoping not to puncture again! Many thanks to the rider who gave me 2 tubes! (the valve broke on one) and also Martyn and Dave who again both stopped and offered to help me again! Anyway, I changed back wheels at Ribblehead and thought I might as well continue. I was interested to see how my legs would feel and whether I would get cramp. I managed to get away with just one serious bout of cramp when I jumped off my bike coming down Pen-y-ghent and once I finally managed to get back on the bike I was OK. So the cramp situation was pretty good and gives me some hope for future years. In the end I finished in 4hrs 45mins. I was disappointed with my time but it was still a great day, cut a bit short by a trip to A&E to get Trev’s leg stitched. It’s interesting to have the split times this year which helped me to work out that without the delays I would have been on track to do about 4hrs 20 something, which was what I was hoping for, so this gives me a realistic future target. Hope to be back next year with much harder tyres!!