By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan published
Very British conditions made for a technical race at the British Cyclocross Championships in Shrewsbury, with a slip sliding rollercoaster ride of a course laden with gloopy mud.
Anna Kay (Experza Pro CX) raced her Specialized S-Works Crux to a bronze medal in the senior women's elite race, also clocking up silver in the under-23 category – the win going to Hattie Harnden (T-Mo Racing) in both categories.
The shortest of the three riders on the podium, Kay rides a size 49. The bike is fitted out with Shimano Di2 Dura Ace shifters, whilst the mechs are Ultegra and the chainset comes from Easton, along with the bar, 80mm stem and seatpost combo.
There's a fair degree of crank rub on the arm suggesting this is a well-loved set up.
Close to the bottom bracket, the downtube has been fitted with a chunk of grip tape, presumably placed to help when shouldering the bike where conditions require a short run.
Kay has chosen a double chainring set up with 34/44 chainrings, then at the rear she uses a 12/27 or 12/30. The frame is shod with Miche SWR hoops, with the grippy Challenge Limus Team Edition S3 tubular tyres, which she rides in a 33mm or 30mm, dependant upon course and conditions.
‘Anna’is written in blue ink on the tan sidewalls. With tyres playing such a crucial role in a ‘cross race, no one wants to get them mixed up.
Kay chooses to keep her numbers on top of the stem instead of in front, keeping the front end tidy with K-Edge Sigma stem computer mount.
The second piece of K-Edge branded bling is the chaincatcher, poised and ready to provide saving grace should disaster strike.
The saddle choice for Kay is the Specialized Romin Evo - a long nosed perched favoured by racers who like to move around on the saddle. Specialized does offer a women's specific version - the Oura.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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