I've been on leave from MBR for the last couple of weeks which has allowed me to train properly. Today I rode over to Mitcham Common to do some specific cyclocross training — 5 long starts with a recovery period on the singletrack, some specific skills training including a dismount (over a log, no barriers available) and then 4min, 6min, 8min and 6min intervals. It's hard to explain quite how beneficial training off-road at race pace can be. At the end of an interval, when your tyres start sliding out on the corners, that's the point when yo become a better rider. Whereas at first you might tense up and dab a foot on the floor, the more you practice at speed, the better you become. Not only do you learn to go faster because of the physical training effect, but you learn to maintain your speed too. Ideal.