Result: 4th place
Bike: BMC Teamelite XX1 Fast Trak 2.2 / Fast Trak 2.2 1.35 bar (training wheels)
The first race in the Vintercuppen series took place in wintery conditions. Just a few degrees below zero and a forest which was mostly free off snow. However there were some icy patches to be careful off. The setup for this cup is that the races are 70 minutes plus the last lap. Each lap was 7km.
I hadn't been feeling well all week and had been off the training. However, before the race I couldn't really feel anything wrong with my body so I had no fears of not performing to my full potential.
I got a good position in the field as the race started. We were perhaps 10 riders in the front group and I hung on at the back. About halfway through the first lap I let go off the lead group and a smaller group of three riders formed: Henrik Ahlbäck, me and a junior rider. We caught up with another guy who dropped back from the front and then there were four of us.
During the first lap conditions were quite grippy with just some icy patches. No snow in the forest at all. However, on the second lap I noticed that places that were not very slippery on the first lap were suddenly super slippery. The riders that had gone by had polished the ice that was there. Also the roots had become really slippery. I was close to falling in one place. It became hard to distinguish where one could trust the grip and where not.
Out on the third lap I had Henrik Ahlbäck, the junior rider and another rider on my wheel. Things were still feeling 'okay'. I had noticed that I perhaps did not have 100% zing in my legs. Then at the bottom of a climb, in a sharp right turn over some branches, there was suddenly no grip where there during the previous two laps had been no problems: My front tire lets go and I go down. It was in quite low speed and I'm back on the bike quickly. I immediately set off to catch the group again, I was leading it after all so it should be possible. But this is when I notice that my form is not all that great. I can see them out in front but they continue to outdistance me.
Later on the third lap, while I'm still hunting the group ahead of me, two riders come up from behind. This is while I think that I'm keeping quite a good pace so I'm a bit surprised and also disappointed. (Maybe I'm not going as quickly as I think?). I manage to hang on for just a few minutes before I'm dropped. During the fourth and last lap another two riders catch me and I'm able to hang on to this group to the end of the race.
I finished in fourth place in M40 (13th overall). Not a very good result. However, as I got home in the afternoon I felt really wrung out and much too tired considering the length of the race. So something is not 100% right in my body currently.