Cyclocross World Championships, Zolder, 2016 – Juniors: “It was just so crazy at the start. It was all so ballistic. You have your lane at the start and I had lane four. And then I was in lane five and there were three guys competing for your little space. It was insanely fast.”
Photographer’s notes: Every cyclocross race, it is the speed off the front line that stuns me. The top riders practice the start again and again as it invaluable in getting a front line position in the first corners, or, frankly, to be ahead of the other guy. Road races simply do not have this pressure. Road riders can slide off the start and have that first few kilometres to set themselves on the bike. Cyclocross is a leap into oxygen debt in the first 200 metres and then holding it longer than the other rider.
This was after the Junior race at the Cyclocross World Championships in Zolder. There were few smiles with the riders who came in. The mud had pounded them all. And then came the Irish rider, filled with smiles and grins at what he had endured. This is David Conroy, the Irish National Cyclocross Champion, Junior.