Result: 4th place
Bike: BMC Teamelite XX1 Fast Trak 2.2 / Fast Trak 2.2 1.35 bar (training wheels)
The second race in Vintercuppen was another cold one. Just a couple of degrees above freezing. No snow on the ground however and it had not been raining during the week. The track turned out to be a fun one with some tight and twisty turns and fun technical sections. Some of the parts that were covered in leaves turned muddy and provided an extra challenge.
The race started off well and early on I was in the second group chasing the leaders. There were three of us in the group. However, just at the end of the first lap there was confusion as to were the race track went as markers were missing. This meant a bunch of riders caught up with us and all of the sudden there were now 6-7 of us. Just a couple of minutes later another wrong turn meant we had to double back, more riders came up from the back, and the group grew to 10-12 riders.
At the start of the second lap I decided to move up from the back of the group (where I was due to the confusion and missed turn) to the front. This took some effort but I was soon on the second wheel in the group. And then, guess what! Another missed turn by the guy in front of me. We turned our bikes around immediately and ran up a hill but we had been dumped to the back of the group again.
The next section was a downhill track with berms and I saw three riders at the front sprinting away from the group. I again expended some energy to move up the group and start chasing them down. After a while I got ahead of the group of 6-7 riders and was in no-mans-land between this group and the group of three riders that were ahead of me.
At the end of the second lap I was joined by another rider from behind and we got into some serious chasing to close down the distance to the three-rider group ahead. Halfway through the third lap we had caught them! Checking the lap times afterward this third (and second to last) lap was my quickest one. However, I knew that I had expended a lot of energy chasing this hard for a long time and just stayed at the back of the group trying to recover. The speed was high though and recovery was almost nonexistent.
When we lapped and went out for the last lap I felt that I had overexpended myself and that I was probably not going to be able to keep the pace up for the entire last lap. I let the group go early on during the last lap and just tried to keep the pace up in order not to get caught from the rear. This worked... almost. Just at the end of the last lap I was caught by two riders. They turned out not to be in my category however so I didn't lose any places.
I crossed the finish line in fourth place.
Good heart rate data. The track actually seemed quicker than the average speed shows:
The laptimes show that I got a tad bit tired before the last lap: