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Monday, June 7, 2010

OCup #4 Mountainview

This is turning out to the be the most ridiculous season of life.

I got up to Mountainview on Saturday with a couple friends to preride. Despite the lightshow and deluge we received the night prior, I was glad to see that the trails were fast, predictable, and ridable. I managed to squeeze in two laps. The first was just to familiarize myself with the course, the second was spent practicing lines. The course was far more straight forward than I remembered it. Last year at this race I had enormous difficulty due to the sloppy muddy mess that it was. Mountainview is much more fun when its rideable!

I had a couple goals going into the race.

1- Ride smooth and efficiently.
My mtb style is very chop and hack. Im always accelerating and braking while smooth riders pump and flow which requires far less energy.

2- Try a new warmup strategy.

Historically, Ive always struggled with feeling ready for the race start. Despite being very organized and diligent with my prerace preparation, I always seem to run out of time for a proper warmup. I usually start at 12:45 (1:30pm race start) do 10 mins of zone 2 and maybe 3-4 30s sprints. It usually ends up being 20minutes or so.

Today I was going to try another method. I was going to start my warmup at 12:15 and have it completed by 1:00. This would leave 30minutes of stand around time... I left Mountainview and got on to a local highway. I did 10min @ zone 1 followed by 10minutes of Tempo, followed by 6 jumps of around 20 seconds. I finished this off with 10 mins of zone one. I felt pretty good after this epic 40minute warmup.

I bumped into Trevor who is having a terrific first Ocup season...did the usual good luck gestures and then headed to the starting pen.

The start was more or less 200m of gradual ascending fireroad, followed by another 200m of steep fireroad.

My start was ok, I had a really good surge, but unfortunately got forced onto a greasy line where I was forced to dismount with a few others. No big deal. There were some huge bottlenecks on the first bits of singletrack. Had to stand for awhile.

I was pretty happy with my warmup. My HR got up nicely, I was a little underpowered off the start, but that seems to be the theme this year, and something I need to work on.

The first lap was relatively slow. There were a few little bottlenecks where some time was lost. The juniors caught up towards the middle of the lap and I had to yield position. I came through the first lap in last (yippee!) but there was another rider just a head, and then another train about 20seconds ahead that I began to reel in. I felt great on my second lap, even on the climbs. I havent felt that way in ages. I ramped up the pace, focussed on riding smoother and pretty soon I managed to pick off a couple guys, one of which may have been a junior. There was a guy wearing The Hub kit in the distance and I focussed on reeling him in. After making some time on a nasty greasy climb, I proceeded to try make up some more time on the descent. Oops.

My back end washed out, I nailed my derailleur and I careened into the woods. I limped on the singletrack section right after, tried to gingerly shift, and the derailleur snapped off. XTR derailleur: 350$ gone.

There goes my race.

Maybe I need to switch to singlespeed racing. Just as tough, only 3 laps, and mixes well with beer culture.

Despite the misfortune, this race did somewhat restore my confidence in my ability. I felt I had power on the hills, and I wouldnt consider my handling to be as far off the average as I once thought.

Im going to do the 65k marathon race in Ganaraska next weekend as itll be a good opportunity to log in some race pace miles. I am also considering picking up a coach to help with the Elite learning curve.

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12 Street West Victoria 1234 Australia

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+(12) 3456 789

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www.johnsmith.com