Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Coming up: Andalucia Bike Race 2019

Starting on Monday next week...

  • UCI first class international competition (XCS 1)
  • Andalucia region of Spain (Mountains!)
  • 6 stages
  • 380 km
  • 7730 meters total vertical ascent
The race has stages starting in three different towns

It's time for the big one: Andalucia Bike Race 2019. I've been training for this since December and it's one of my major goals for this season.

I really love this race. It has mountains, lots of single track, steep climbs, dangerous descents. Everything you would want in a mountain bike stage race.

Last year I placed ninth in this race (out of 250 riders in my category) and probably did the best race in my life. This year I have 200 riders racing against me in M40. I also raced in 2017 but had to abort due to technical issues.

Form

My form is looking good. I did my standard 9x9 min session at 330W a week ago which is a personal best for me. Weight is just a smidge above 71 kg (hopefully it will dip under 71 this week). I try to get down to about 70 kg for these races. I haven't done any FTP tests at all this winter and spring, instead relying on my base sessions of 4x8 minutes and 9x9 minutes to judge my form. I may however do a FTP benchmark session on Friday morning. I'm guessing my FTP is right around 350W currently.

This is what Strava thinks my form is like. I hope they're right :)

I raced a longer marathon race in Denmark last Sunday that didn't go well. But I'm not too worried about that - During the race, when I noticed that I was dipping too deep into the red, I decided to slow down and finish the race easy in order not to incur too long a recovery period

The plan for this last week before the race is two shorter interval sessions.

Equipment

I'm racing a Trek Top Fuel 9.9 as I did last year. Right now I'm having trouble deciding whether to go with my old Top Fuel  (2017) or the new one (2019) that I got for this season. They're almost identical, but the new one has a Rock Shox fork which has only two positions: Locked or Open. My 2017 Top Fuel has the old Fox system with three positions: Climb, Trail and Descend. I really like how my old Top Fuel feels and I don't think I've managed to set up the new one as well. A lot of this has to do with lack of time.

I will be running SRAM Eagle (10-50 in the rear) with a 34T up front.

Metallic brake pads! That's a lesson that I learnt last year when Sandra and I hunted all around Cordoba looking for brake pads when our organic ones wore down.



I'm using the Duke wheels that I raced all of 2018. This time equipped with the brand new 2019 Schwalbe tires : Racing Ray 2.25" Snakeskin up front and Racing Ralph 2.1" Snakeskin at the rear. Also, for the first time, I'm using Muck Off's tubeless fluid instead of Stan's. Muck Off has tested very well in patching bigger holes.


Sandra is joining me as well and she'll be racing in the elite category. You can read her blog here.

The weather in Spain...




I will be doing live updates of the stages on this blog...


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