TWO Cotswold Veldrijden riders, Keith Sheridan and Pete Hutchinson, were both delighted to make the final at the World Masters Cyclocross Championships in Louisville Kentucky despite being kept up the previous night by an air raid-type siren warning for tornados.
The course for the qualifying race was very muddy with lots of standing water, just the sort of conditions they have been encountering all year in the local Wessex League and National Trophy events.
Keith cruised to an impressive fifth place in the heat and Pete was very pleased with 18th. Their heat looked like the fastest of the day so prospects were good.
The visitors awoke to a very different set of conditions on race day. Overnight the temperature had plummeted to a freezing -12, the muddy course of the previous day was now just hard frozen ruts covered in snow.
Keith and Pete ended up hiring a pit crew of Vic and Anne Barnett, Vic having just collected his 65+ world title. Unfortunately, all they could do was break chunks of ice and mud from their bikes as all the water and jet washes had frozen solid.
Keith started well but got his chain jammed between the wheel and he subsequently lost time and places. Overall final finishing positions were Keith 39th and Pete 44th – a great effort in such demanding and ever-changing conditions.