Rapha Supercross: Mud, Sweat and Beers

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Rapha brought their fun take on cyclocross to the inner-city, with their Supercross event held at Sydney Park on Saturday. With the help of the spokespeople, a 1km course was set up on the side of a hill next to the Sydney Park Cycling Centre, complete with a bar where spectators could enjoy a drink and watch the riders making their way around the off-camber turns, over the obstacles, and through the foam cannon.

After watching the real riders, I tried my luck in the costume cross. 1km loop? 5 laps? “Pfft!” I thought, “This’ll be a stroll in the park.” After lap 1 I was running 5th, with heart pounding. By the end of lap 2, my lungs were burning and legs leaden, with a newfound respect for the elite and open riders who rode that course for an hour. If you’re considering giving CX a go, here are some lessons I learned the hard way…

Prepare for punctures: plenty of riders punctured while out on the course, and I got a flat from one practice lap almost resulting in a DNS. After a hurried tube change I made it to the start line, but a second puncture on the penultimate lap left me with a DNF.

Expect exhaustion: With no section on the course where you can sit up and rest, it’s all effort, all the time.

Hydrate: Beer is not a recovery drink. I never manage to learn this lesson.

Get dirty: with all the mud, sweat and beers, you and your bike will end up filthy. Be prepared.

Everyone loves a foam cannon: Especially kids.

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Congrats to Rapha and the spokespeople for organising such a great event, and to all the riders. But most of all, congrats to this guy…

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I doff my top hat to you.

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