Wednesday, May 18, 2005

mtb racing

Entered and finished another race this past Sunday. I crossed the finish line in 5th place out of 11 total people in my class. Roughly 5seconds behind 4th and about 5mins behind 3rd place. Not bad considering this is only my third race in the next toughest class (one under semi Pro and Pro).

The race on May 1st I finished in 6th place out of 11 total people.

Sunday's race:
The course reminded me of Mount Snow but on a smaller scale. The climbs were super steep and 95f the course was singletrack. I took it easy at the start for we rode through a field and a campground and wanted to see how the other racers were doing. I was probably 9th (11 total) back when we hit the first climb and into the singletrack. That is where I put the gas on and accelerated past quite a few people. My plan was go to pretty hard and find a rhythm I could probably sustain while also pulling away from other people. A 1/4 mile into the singletrack everything clicked. I was looking through the turns and wasn't staring at my front tire or slamming on the brakes. ie: I was riding fast and fluently. First time all season my technical skills were as good as they were at last year's Mount Snow. I had two people of my class in my sights through the 1st lap and passed them on the climb of the second lap.

My first lap was fast and my second lap was still pretty fast. Partway through my 3rd lap I started noticing cramping in every muscle of both legs. That scared me because if I cramped then my pace slowed to a crawl and I would probably get passed. Couple more energy gels later I started feeling okay. Slowed my pace a little bit and made sure I kept pedaling. Figured the repeditive motion of pedaling will hinder any cramping. That worked. I entered the downhill on the last lap and knew the race was over. A fast sprint through the campsite brought me the finish line and no one caught me.

The cramping was inevitable.. My heartrate was maxed out the entire race (170bpm for about 1hour and 30min duration) so I knew it was going to happen. The key was consistency of my riding and drinking/eating every 15/20mins. I went through 2 energy gels per lap and a total of about 4 water bottles during the race (and 2 bottles before the race).

the climb on the 1st lap

the bottom of the downhill on lap 1

lap 2 photo

lap 3 photo


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