Result: 12th place (overall)
Bike: BMC Teamelite XX1 Fast Trak 2.0 / Fast Trak 2.0 1.35/1.42bar (Stans Valor)
The Heino Fall Classic has always been my favorite Autumn race. It's in the Tisvilde area in Denmark. You park by the sea, which in November always is windy and cold, and so you shiver at the prospect of racing in lycra. It's always a hard decision to figure out what to wear.
This year temperatures were around 2-3 degrees C above freezing: I went with bibs, leg warmers, and a long-sleeved shirt.
This weather was a big difference from last year when there was a snow storm the day and night before the race. We ended up racing in deep snow and I wasn't able to complete both laps of the race. I wrote about the race here.
It had been raining in the days leading up to the race, but the evening before the race I went and put on my race wheels anyway. However, in the rear, I changed from the usual Specialized Renegade 1.95 to Fast Trak 2.0. This turned out to be a good decision. The track was mostly quick, with a few muddy areas and some wet roots. However, with plenty of gravel roads the easy-rolling tires were useful.
The race is on a track which is ridden for two laps. The first one also has a start loop of about 5km. All-in-all it's 45km.
Things started off well and I was in the leading group of some 10 riders all through the start loop. This in spite of a crash just in front of me in the second corner (this can be seen in the video below). However with the first really steep climb after about 6km a guy a few places in front of me let go of the lead group and before I was able to scramble around him they were gone.
We formed a second group behind the leaders which started at around 10 riders. Unfortunately I made some bad decisions positioning myself in the group during the first lap, ending up to far back in it. As gaps formed it was up to me to bridge them. At the end of the first lap were were down to 5 riders and I had expended a lot of energy staying with the group.
During the second lap people started racing off ahead of the group but also dropped down in the back until there were just two of us left. And then we were joined by a really strong rider coming up alone from the rear. Very impressive! This constellation prevailed until the last climb before the finish when I was too tired and had to let go of the other two riders.
I crossed the finish line in 12th place overall (no age categories), out of 300+ riders. It was a good race and I was pleased with the results.
Video of the first half an hour of the race, including a crash at about 5 minutes