Sunday, 29 November 2015

Vintercuppen #2: Second place in the rain storm

Result: 2nd place (6th overall)

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

There was no doubt that the second race of Vintercuppen was going to be muddy. The melting snow and rain of the past week made for wet conditions. I was surprised when I drove over from Sweden, where all the snow had already melted, and over Denmark, to notice that the Danish forests still had plenty of patches of snow in them.
As I spent the whole day before moving into our new house, carrying stuff up and down stairs, I was wondering about how that may affect me during the race.

Result: Vintercuppen #2

I did one lap of the course as a warmup and noticed that the blanket of leaves was so thick that it was impossible in most places to see where the track went. It was well marked out though so the risk of bad navigation was low. I did however wonder how slippery the terrain would become as those leaves started to mix with the mud underneath. The lap was mostly single track, with some sections of gravel road. The single track was everything between slow and super fast. The conditions would make things technical.
The race started with the normal gravel road start but we quickly went up into the first short climb, still on gravel road. On the climb it was like I was standing still and people were just rushing past me. I went from 5th place down to somewhere 10-12th. My thought was: Ah, here's how I pay for all the carrying of furniture. On the next flat part I sprinted past the guys that had passed me on the climb and was again around 5-6th place.
We had a group of six riders that broke off from the rest. I was in the group, so was Palle. I judged the rest of the riders in the group to be younger and not in Palle's and my category. I managed to hang on to this group for the shorter starting lap and another complete lap. Always losing ground during the climbs and having to sprint back into the group on the flat. This sort of riding is very exhausting. So going out on the third lap I let go of the group.
I rode solo for a couple of laps and then two younger riders came up from behind very quickly. I first thought that they would just rush past me but I managed to hang on the their wheels. They went away from me on the climbs but I managed to rejoin in the technical and muddy stuff.
At about halfway through the race a rain storm came in and drenched us all. Also, the temperature dropped considerably and it became really cold. Naturally trail conditions became worse too.
The last lap I did on my own and managed to finish 2nd in my category and 6th overall. Not happy with the start of the race but pleased that I got quicker as the race progressed and also content with how I now handle technical courses like this one.

Pulse data shows an average heart rate that's lower than normal. So tired legs I guess

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