Sunday, 2 August 2015

XCup #5 - Super fun XCO track!

Result: 9th place

Bike: Trek Superfly 9.9 SL, Vittoria Barzo / Peyote 1.4 bar

The plan for this week was to over-train in order to try to achieve a peak in form in the upcoming Vaude Trans Schwarzwald. And I did a lot of cycling: Nine days straight leading up to today's race. So coming to the race today I did not have very high hopes. Mostly I hoped to achieve an intensive (high heart rate) session after a week of low intensity training. I was not sure if the legs were up to it though.
The race was on the Möllerödsbanan, which I have ridden twice before, however long ago. I remember the last time I rode it I really felt out of place and didn't perform well. At that time it felt like the bike was bouncing around a lot, my body was going in one direction and the bike in another, and I didn't have a lot of control. The course is tight, tricky and has a lot of stones. Not really any dangerous stuff, you just really need to place the bike within some tight margins.
I decided to take the Trek hardtail mostly because the race was not all that important and I wanted to save the full-suspension bike for the upcoming races. The track did turn out to be better suited for full-susp bikes though.

Results: XCup #5

I lined up at the front of the field. Warren was to the left of me and as soon as we take of his and my handlebars briefly touch making me lose balance. I fall back a few places but I'm able to catch up quickly. After the start loop I'm in the top-6.
Going into the forest I was on the wheel of Rolf Svensson. We swapped places a few times and then martin Wenhov also came up from behind and went by. I held on to Martin's wheel until I got briefly stuck in a section.
I felt that I negotiated the single track really well. This was not att all how I remembered this track from a couple of years back. I guess my skills have gotten better. The short and messy descents were a joy to negotiate.
For most of the race I ended up having a fight with Benny Andersson. His full-suspension Trek (with electric gears AND shocks) really handled the terrain brilliantly. On the last lap I let him go and took it a bit eaiser. I finished in 9th place very happy with how I had handled the course. AND, as a bonus, my heart rate reacted very nicely giving me a max of 188 and and average of almost 180.
So did the hardtail work on the track? Sure, it worked well. However I'm a bit out of practice with racing it and this I noticed by how many times the saddle hit me in the ass when I forgot to stand up. My lovely Trek soft-tail has spoilt me.

Tight and messy tracks can be fun these days! Also: I can train A LOT and still have working legs for a race.

Trying on my friend's POC glasses after the race

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