Q&A: Looking forward to Dig In At The Dock Cyclocross

The Dig In At The Dock cyclocross event has an impressive profile – it’s great what a few enthusiastic individuals, social media promotion and elbow grease can do.

I maybe do a disservice to all the hard work put in behind the scenes, but the point is, willing volunteers, fostering a rabidly enthusiastic community and fuelling the banter on facebook and twitter can go a hell of a long way for local events.

I have been helping out with the race programme, co-ordinating the articles, chasing up text, sourcing images and performing a general ‘overseer’ role. I’m also looking forward to getting muddy again on the course itself. With all that in mind, here is a light-hearted look forward to the race.

John: Thanks for helping us with the race programme this year Owen. You’re a star.

OP: No problem. It’s great to see so many people contributing: various people have written pieces, the photographers have been very generous in submitting their work – it’s like the race itself – so many people muck in.

Dave: So how are you finding the cross this year? You had a decent year: got the 3rd cat on the road?
Yeah- was pleased with the road season, I found out that I was better at crits than road races so got a few points there. I thought a modicum of success at the 1 hour circuit format might transfer over to cyclocross, but I still have to hone the off-road skills quite a bit.

Dave: Aye, you need to practice more. Been training hard?
No- it’s into winter ‘off-season’ for me now and my fitness is probably the lowest it has been all year.

John: That’s what everyone says before our race! Bunch of liars the lot of yous.
I’ve had a cold! And have been busy with work and family – just want to get my excuses in early. Plus, my transformation from roadie to cyclocrosser is still underway.

Dave: Fine, but we expect you to do a full cross season next year. You need to get into the muddy races as well as the nice leafy ones in autumn.
We’ll see.

taking in the sun at Callendar Park, October 2013
A sunny and leafy Calendar Park 2013, image by Ian Henderson

Dave: Have you taken you ditched the mudguards from your cross bike yet? Show the bike some respect man.
Yes! I just got a new winter road bike so my Kinesis Crosslight has just been let off the leash for 100% cross duties.

Kinesis Crosslight FiveT

John: What? You should have bought a new cross bike instead!
I’m waiting for the disc brake technology to settle down.

John: Let’s not go there. We’ll be here all day…
Also it would be too expensive to ditch my regular wheels for disc wheels. I have 3 sets…

Dave You’re fine with what you’ve got Owen. 50/34 isn’t a great combination for racing though
I’ve changed the crankset to a 46/36 now.

Dave: That 46 will come in handy at Bo’ness. I’ll remember to sit on your wheel for the windy bits.

John So what are your expectations for Dig In 2014?
I really, really, really want to beat Dave, but it won’t happen. He toyed with me at last year’s Dig In with a cheeky look behind, then went and got his 3rd cat on the road so I had no chance of revenge. It all goes back to some ‘epic’ battles in 2010 on the likes of Superbagnères, Col d’Aspin and the great unknown climb of the Pyrenees, the Hospice de France.

Dave: As I recall you pumped me on every climb but Hospice de France with that touring chainset you were rocking.

Port de Balès
Pyrenees 2010

Remember to take the seat pack off this year, yeah? And Euan Lindsay has patented that ‘cravat’ look now. 
I’ll try. Euan claims he forgot to take it off for the champs at Foxlake, whereas last time at Dig In, I was just being a pussy.

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Dig In 2013, image by Laurence Bissett

OP: Who is your tip for the win?

John: Davie Lines, Rab Wardell or James McCallum – it’s hard to pick. Rab and James have been sunning themselves, I mean, training hard at the SC camp in Girona so maybe they will be the form guys. People should come along and buy the race programme on the day for more predictions and preview information!

Dave: I’m going for Gareth Montgomerie. Top lad and he’s been resting. The course will be a bit more friendly to him this year as well. But it’s hard to rule out any of the three John mentioned. Ben Greenwood claims he’s stopped training but he’s a class rider who did well two years ago.

Ding in at the docks
Rab Wardell and Gareth Montgomerie, 2013, image by Laurence Bissett

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Ben Greenwood (right), 2013, image by Laurence Bissett

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James McCallum takes the win over Davie Lines and Gareth Montgomerie, 2012