Result: 12th (overall)
Bike: Trek Superfly FS 9.9 SL, RocketRon/RacingRalph LiteSkin 2.25 - 1.3bar
Well, let me just start of by writing that, as far as placing in this race, I had no high hopes. The race I did the previous day, Lidingöloppet MTB, left me completely exhausted.
However, I love racing and I love XCup so obviously I had to take part in the second race in the Cup. This particular venue was on a very flat track, close to the sea. No climbs to speak of but some parts that had rather tight, tricky and slow singletrack going around trees, roots and other natural obstacles. Not my favourite kind of course but that makes it so much more of a challenge. And I love a good challenge.
The start loop was on quick gravel loop. I was in the front starting group and the quick boys gave it all from the get go. I was really surprised that I could hang in there with them and even advance during the start loop. When the track turned to singletrack I was somewhere around 8-9th place which was really good.
For the first 30 minutes of the race I had a good fight with a group of riders who were just behind the leading group. My body was working well, pulse was high, all good signs. However, almost magically, after 30 minutes almost all energy left my body. I let the group go and slowed down to allow myself to breathe again. From being able to pulse around 180rpm I went down to just above 160. Even on the long gravel straights I couldn't get my heartbeat up no matter how hard I tried pushing my legs. So this was the legacy that I had from yesterdays Lidingöloppet.
With two laps left of the race two riders caught up with me from behind. I was sure that they would just race by me and that I'd have no chance of taking their backs. This didn't happen however. I was lucky as they caught up just before a gravel section and I didn't have too much trouble keeping with them.
The last lap started with a tricky and slow section which I knew was not good for me. So I did the smart thing and took the lead in our small three-man group just ahead of it. The group rode together for the first half of the last lap. Then, on a long gravel section I allowed one of the guys to pull me along, then, just before turning into some really quick singletrack I went ahead of him, took the turn really quickly, and then gave it all for about 500 meters. I then looked behind me and saw that I had lost both riders.
I kept going quickly and managed to finish the race in 12th place. Very happy under the circumstances.
My body behaves strangely when racing on consecutive days.