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K Capital Challenge Round 1, Kilruddery 26th July 2009

Kilruddery was the by now familiar venue for round 1 of this year’s K Capital Challenge. A new format this year featuring a mass start and a long loop – very long at about 15K!

It was one lap for Beginners/Sports and 2 for everyone else. I entered Masters thinking I would retire after lap 1 if it proved too long/difficult. The mass start was impressive as about 180 riders all started together amid much cheering. Check out the video.

Following torrential rain in the preceding days, weather conditions on the day turned out to be good, if a little windy. The rain had taken its toll on what would ordinarily have been an excellent course. There were some very sticky muddy sections resulting in wheels and gears becoming heavily clogged up, so much so that I had to stop at least twice to scrape mud off. I didn’t mind too much. In fact once I accepted the mud, it was fun sliding and drifting down the sloppy bits! Also, there plenty of dry, fast sections to make up for it.

The muddy sections were mostly under tree cover but the course was quite varied, incorporating upland, farmland and woodland. Plenty of climbs too – the highlight being a snaking, switchbacking ascent up the slopes of the little Sugarloaf.

I was fairly knackered after the first lap but by now I was having fun and determined to finish. WORC, the organisers, had set up a feed station at the start/finish so I actually stopped for lunch halfway through. Thanks to whoever gave me an energy bar and a drink.

Refreshed, I set off for lap 2. It was a slog. A war of attrition if you will but I finally got around lap 2, even passing a few on the way, and winning a mini duel at the finish with some guy in orange gear. It took me 3:13, but I was delighted to finish, and far from last for a change.

Despite my efforts, I scored no Racing 795 Club Man of the Year points. None. Not a single one.


David Conway

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