Hannah Payton in Storming Form! - Kinesis Bikes
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Payton in storming form!

Words by Hannah Payton, fresh from her win the first muddy CX race of the year.
Photos by the Cyclo Cross Handbook and Jack Chevell

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National Trophy Round 3 - the closest race yet and the most exciting, for both me and the spectators.


Beth Crumpton led from the gun, she won the previous round and I knew she would be strong. My start wasn't as good and I found myself 5 or 6 wheels back into the first technical section that came just 600m after the uphill road start, it was a steep muddy run up. This wasn't ideal (but when are cross races in mud) and I watched Beth ride away as I was stuck in the Congestion. Luckily the course opened up after the run up and I was able to power up the long drag to begin my chase on what was easily the most challenging course of the season with lots of climbing and off camber to contend with. I was now up to 2nd and we'd got a good gap on 3rd.

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By lap 2 I was on Beth's wheel and the next time up the long drag I decided to take the lead, it was not the day to sit on the wheel as it was very unpredictably slippy. I opened a gap of around 12 seconds which I held for the 3rd lap but Beth was chasing hard and by lap 4 we were back together.

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I don't like a sprint but I’d got it all planned in case that's what it came down to. We crossed the line with 1 lap to go locked together. I used the long drag to put in another hard effort and I got myself a gap again.

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Beth was faster than me through the wooded section and before I knew it, that gap was gone again, trying to focus on being as smooth as possible. I knew I needed to lead the final off camber section because there wasn't much opportunity to overtake and it would mean coming onto the finishing straight first, which was really short only 200m from the final corner.

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The final few bends were slippy but I knew I had to take the risks I pedalled round the bends holding traction and power at balance best I could. The risks paid off and I entered the Tarmac straight ahead of Beth. I sprinted to the line to take the win. It was close. Very close. Sometimes the things your fight for are the sweetest.

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I've now extended my overall series lead from 2 points to 8, but it's still close and with 2 rounds still to go, it could all still change. But I’m determined to stay in yellow.

Thanks CLIF BAR for fuelling my race.
Thanks KITBRIX for keeping my kit organised.
Thanks GORE for keeping me warm.
Thanks GIRO for the smartest shoes and helmet around.
The final big thanks is for the fantastic support that I receive from TEAM KINESIS UK, having bikes designed for racing in the UK makes a big difference and the support on the day from KINESIS and team mates makes it all a bit easier.

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